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.