Pets Can Have Allergies, Too

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In Hollister Free Lance, veteranarian Dr. Quick reports that allergies in pets are often misdiagnosed by sales people in pet stores who try to increase pet food sales by suggesting that pets have dietary allergies. In fact, only about two to three percent of pets experience dietary allergies – and the symptoms are constant and year-round. However, about 15 percent of pets have environmental or seasonal allergies.

Pets rarely sneeze and cough; their allergy symptoms usually appear as skin problems. Dr. Quick writes, ‘When I am told that a dog is constantly chewing at their feet, often to the point of damaging the skin, the allergy flag begins to wave. Another frequent sign of allergies is redness and inflammation of the ear flaps, especially without an ear infection. In cats more generalized skin problems often occur. Cats are more prone to developing multiple small scabs around the neck, face and rump.’

Dr. Quick also says (in a statement that certainly applies to humans as well): ‘You must realize that we are talking control, not cure.’ And the way to control allergies, in humans as well as pets, is to avoid allergens. Learn more about allergen avoidance in our Allergy Relief Learning center.

6 thoughts on “Pets Can Have Allergies, Too

  1. brooksbrittany007 December 7, 2007 / 9:32 pm

    my cat just got fixed and got two of his shots. now he acts as if he's having an allergic reaction? he is chomping like he is parched and has cotton mouth. his nose is running. he acts sleepy or nonsocial until i pick him up or play with him. he has never chomped this way before. could this be an allergy or a reaction to the shot? i know when he got fixed they fixed up a wound on his side, could he be sick from licking the cleaned wound? i need help fast…i dont have the money to ask these questions elsewhere.

  2. SPARKL1010 December 7, 2006 / 1:16 am

    My cat gets a shot at the Vet about every 6 or 7 weeks for her allergies. I know when it is time to take her there because she begins to lick a spot on her belly until the hair is gone and it looks red. She does not go outside, but she does sit on our screened-in porch. The Vet tells me that is enough for her allergies to kick up. I wonder if there is any natural remedy for her or even something to sooth her itch. I've tried a few itch remedies, but she always licks them off. I worry about her frequent shots of steriods. Any suggestions?

  3. Anonymous July 23, 2007 / 8:06 am

    It looks like you've already received some great answers to your question at yahoo answers… Let me see if I can add anything…

    I am not a veterinarian, but I wouldn't worrry too much about your cat acting like he is going to puke. From what I've seen, that is fairly common behavior among cats (as a way of coughing up hair balls). If this behavior continues or gets worse, you may want to try a cat food with hairball prevention ingredients.

    Watch your pet's problems problem closely. It can be extremely difficult to discover the source of health problems among animals. They can't talk to us, and a veterinarian can't watch the animals at home in their own environment. It's up to you to play pet health detective,” especially when it comes to the more mysterious, worrisome problem of the swollen upper lip.

    Try to find a connection between the swollen lip and your cat's day-to-day life. Does the swollen lip appear only at certain times? Does your cat chew on anything besides his food?

    Is your cat full of energy and spastic? It could be something as simple as a swollen lip from collisions during play time.

    Inspect the lip frequently, and keep a close eye on your cat whenever possible.

    As mentioned, it could be a food allergy – even if your cat was not previously allergic to his food. Allergies can develop at any time. You may want to try to another food and see if that helps.

    It could also be an environmental allergy, although cats normally exhibit skin symptoms with environmental allergies. Does your cat have any more symptoms?nemohuildii”

  4. cathi April 8, 2007 / 12:24 pm

    MY cat for the past 9 months has been having a puratic type of out breaks. she will pull all the hair from her belly ,wrist, and the back of her legs. A steroid shot does the trick. But it seems like she needs one more frequentley. Can steroids cause blindness?

  5. Anonymous December 8, 2006 / 1:39 pm

    Instead of trying to relieve symptoms, I suggest that you try to get to the bottom of what's causing the allergies in the first place.

    Do the allergies last year-round, or are they seasonal?

    The most common allergy among cats is flea allergy. According to board-certified veterinary dermatologist Carol Foil, You may not see [the fleas], but that does not mean they are not there. The allergy is caused by the flea¬ís saliva, and it only takes a few bites to induce the problem. Also, the itchy pet often grooms so much that adult fleas are removed, making them hard to find… In warm climates or in our homes, fleas may survive in low numbers year-round. Because flea allergy is so common, we recommend that complete flea control be instituted before proceeding with diagnostics for other allergies and that year-round flea control be maintained for all allergy patients.”

    You can treat your cat, your home, your porch, and your yard for fleas. Bathing your cat every two weeks or so would help get rid of fleas. Ecology Works Pet Shampoo is hypoallergenic, non-toxic and plant-based; it helps control allergens and fleas, and it leaves the coat feeling soft.

    You can ask your vet about various natural flea control methods available, or research them online.

    “Steroids, such as prednisone tablets or steroid shots, are often employed to stop the itch,” says Dr. Foil. “However, without addressing the underlying cause, the itching will return. Long-term use of steroids can result in many health problems. This is the reason that we encourage diagnosis of the underlying cause of the allergy and more specific or less potentially harmful treatments.”

    If increased flea control measures don't help, another allergen could be the culprit.

    Has your cat been tested for allergies? Do you know for sure what she is allergic to?

    She could be allergic to dust mites, mold, or pollen. When a human or pet has an environmental allergy, it's a good idea to vacuum often with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and clean the air with an air purifier.

    It could even be a food allergy – which is much more rare – and in this case, you could solve the problem by switching cat food.

    The key to allergen control in animals and humans is to find out what the offending allergens are – and then avoid them by keeping them our of your home.

    Please keep us updated and let us know what works for you! width=”0″ height=”0″”

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