Sneezing, itching, drippy eyes–what do you do when you suspect your pet has allergies? Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer from allergies, too, but when you don’t know what’s causing discomfort to your pet, frustration–and itchy arms and paws–can last longer than necessary.
Common Pet Allergies
The most common allergens for pets fall into three categories: skin, food, and environmental allergens. Since the symptoms of each particular allergy are so similar, it can be difficult to determine the source.
A skin allergy is the most common culprit for a pet’s discomfort, which can be caused by flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies, or environmental allergies.
Flea allergy dermatitis is your pet’s reaction to flea bites. The flea’s saliva is what causes the allergic reaction, which manifests as itching–usually at the base of the tail. Once your pet starts itching, the skin may also become red, inflamed, or scabbed. If your pet’s allergic symptoms are being caused by fleas, you might be able to see fleas or flea dirt upon closer inspection.
If your dog’s ears or paws seem to be the itchy spot, this may indicate a food allergy or sensitivity, especially when itching is accompanied by gastrointestinal issues.
And, just like springtime allergies in humans, pets may also suffer seasonal allergies from environmental allergens like dust, mold, and pollen. This type of skin allergy will cause itching on the ears and paws, but can also include a wider variety of itchy spots like underarms, wrists, between toes, around the eyes, wrists, muzzle, and ankles.
It’s important to stay vigilant about your pet’s itching. Skin allergies can cause secondary infections when your pet tries to soothe themselves by licking, scratching, or biting, which can open the skin and cause bacterial or yeast infections.
A certifiable food allergy is harder to come by, and more often than not, your pet is suffering from food sensitivity. IF your pet experiences an allergic reaction due to consuming a particular food, they’ll experience an immune response which can present as a skin condition, including hives, itching, and swelling in the face, as well as gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
Food sensitivities or intolerances are much more common in pets. If your pet is sensitive to something in their diet, symptoms may occur gradually, and can include vomiting, diarrhea, poor skin or coat, itching, and chronic ear/foot conditions.
Because food sensitivity symptoms are so similar to other allergic reactions, it can be difficult to tell exactly why your pet is suffering. TrueCare for Pets can help you properly diagnose your pet and get them on the path to feeling like themselves again.
General Signs of Pet Allergies
- Constant licking
- Itchy eyes, ears, and general itchiness
- Runny eyes
- Red and or inflamed skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Swelling of face, eyelids, ears, lips, and/or earflaps
If your pet is experiencing a severe allergic reaction, TrueCare for Pets is available 24/7/365 to diagnose and treat your furry friend. Your pet’s health is our priority, and in a stressful time for both you and your four-legged buddy, you can trust that the certified emergency veterinarians will keep you updated with test results as well as a follow-up appropriate treatment plan varying from allergy medication to lifestyle changes to keep your pet feeling their best.