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Posted on 07-31-2017
Pet Allergy Treatment at the Animal Hospital of Sullivan County
Pets can experience allergies to their food, environment, and more, just like their owners can. Find out whether your dog's funny behaviors could be allergies and how our Ferndale veterinarian can provide allergy care for your pet.
Signs of Pet Allergies
Common allergy triggers for pets include ingredients in their food, pollen, grass, chemicals, and environmental substances like dust. Corn, soy, wheat, and meats including beef, chicken, and pork are the more common food allergens for dogs. Chemicals in perfume, cigarette smoke, or cleaning products can affect your pet. Other allergens include weeds, trees, and mold.
If your pet has allergies, he or she may be itching, sneezing, scratching, snoring, or constantly licking his/her paws. Your pet's eyes may be running, and s/he may have hot spots or sores from frequent itching.
Allergies in pets can develop at any time. While any breed of pet can develop allergies, some seem more susceptible. Your Boston terrier, bulldog, Pug, Golden Retriever, Bichon, Wheaton terrier or Irish setter is more likely to experience allergies than, say, a beagle or corgi.
Treating Pet Allergies
To diagnose allergies in pets, our Ferndale vet will do a blood test, similar to the one given to humans. This will give us an idea of whether your dog or cat is allergic to the common allergens in our area. The allergy testing for food has proven to be unreliable so in order to rule out food allergies, a strict 12-week food trial may need to be done. For food allergies, we recommend a prescription diet, which has either novel proteins and carbohydrates or a hydrolyzed protein that is so small it gets by the immune system. After spending three months on the prescription diet, you can reintroduce foods one at a time to your dog or cat diet to determine what s/he may be allergic to.
For environmental allergens, we'll discuss ways to limit your pet's exposure and thus their reaction. For instance, booties worn on the grass prevent your pet from coming into contact with grass and suffering an allergic reaction. We do use the allergy blood test results to help create vaccines to desensitize your pet to the allergens that are causing a problem and in dogs we have a new type of injectable immunotherapy that can be given every 4-6 weeks to make them more comfortable.
Frequent bathing with medicated shampoos may relieve discomfort and itching associated with allergies. Let us recommend shampoos that relieve the itch without drying out your pet's skin. Things such as leaving your shoes at the door and rinsing your pet off when they come in from the outdoors can also help with allergies.
Finally, we may prescribe medication for allergy relief.
The Animal Hospital of Sullivan County is accepting new patients now. To talk about pet allergies, or anything else, reserve your pet care appointment by calling us at 845-292-6711.
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