What is an Allergy?
Many cases of coat, nail, stomach, skin, and ear conditions seen in dogs and cats can be caused by environmental or food allergies.
Allergies can cause inflammation on your pet's skin, ears, or other areas of their body, as well as irritation in their gastrointestinal system. Symptoms may cause your pet discomfort or pain.
Our vets at Villa Rica Animal Hospital can provide allergy testing and treatment options, working with you to identify the root cause of your pet's discomfort.
If you suspect your pet might have an allergy, we can conduct a full physical examination, test for numerous allergies, and eliminate other potential causes. We can find a solution by working together.
Types of Allergies
Pets can experience a few types of allergies that may trigger a reaction, including:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis
A flea's saliva can trigger an allergic reaction in some pets that can lead to flea allergy dermatitis. This may also cause extremely itchy skin — especially at the base of the tail. Their skin can become red, scabbed, and inflamed. Other signs of fleas include flea dirt (feces), and sometimes you can even see the fleas themselves.
- Food Allergies
Were you aware that your pet's itchy skin could potentially be a symptom of food sensitivities or allergies? If you've noticed your cat or dog scratching at their paws or ears, or displaying potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a combination of both, contact your vet.
It's critical to understand the distinction between food sensitivities (intolerances) and food allergies. Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as chicken, beef, milk, or wheat.
Symptoms can range from itchiness and chronic infections in the foot or ear to diarrhea and vomiting. True food allergies trigger an immune response that can cause skin conditions such as hives and facial swelling.
- Environmental Allergens
Atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions can stem from environmental allergens, including mold, pollen, and dust. Seasonal allergies can also be a frustrating issue, as they may only affect your dog during certain seasons or times of the year.
Similar to food allergies, look at your pet’s paws and ears for clues that they may be suffering from environmental allergies. Also do a quick check of the muzzle, around the eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles, and between toes.
Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
Depending on the underlying cause of your pet's allergy, symptoms may vary. These symptoms could include:
- Head shaking and/or scratching (one or both)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Hair loss
- Respiratory congestion
- Skin rash or hives
- Patchy, itchy, or flaky skin
New Patients Welcome
Villa Rica Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Villa Rica companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.