It was a long winter in western North Carolina.
It seemed like it began earlier than usual, was colder than it has been in a while, and we had more rounds of winter weather than we have experienced in years. Even the most ardent snow-lovers were tired of being stuck inside. Finally, the trees and flowers are beginning to bloom, joining the singing birds announcing that spring is here. Western North Carolina comes alive this time of year. The mountains turn pink, then red, then the most brilliant, lush green. The one downside might be that as the trees grow their leaves, our cars, decks, porches, sidewalks, and every other surface turn yellow with pollen.
Pollen works mysteriously, doing so much good for the landscape yet so much damage to our sinuses. The official song of spring for many is the sneeze. Have you noticed you are not the only one in your family that has the sniffles? Are you wondering if it is possible for your pets to have allergies? In this article, we will help answer your questions about pets and allergies.
Can Pets Have Allergies?
Believe it or not, you may not be the only person or species in your home suffering from allergies. Your pets can have them as well. An allergic reaction occurred when the body's ammunition system overreacts to an otherwise harmless foreign substance. For many humans, our immune systems produce histamines to ward of the threat of pollen. Unfortunately, it's those histamines that make us feel so yucky. The same sort of response can happen in pets.
What Kind of Allergies Do Pets Have?
Here are a few of the most common allergies pets experience:
Food allergies: Food allergies are relatively common in pets. What you may not realize is that an allergy to food can show up as dermatitis. If your dog, cat, or other pet is scratching obsessively, it could be indicative of an allergy to something in their food. Your pets may have a sensitivity to beef, eggs, dairy, chicken, lamb, and fish.
Environmental Allergies: Just like humans, your pets can have allergic reactions from environmental causes. Pollen, mold, grass, dust, and other environmental factors can cause some of the same symptoms pet owners might experience.
Feal Bite Dermatitis: Flea bite dermatitis is one of the most common allergies for pets. For furry friends suffering from this condition, the saliva in a flea bite will cause redness, pain, and uncontrollable itching. If your pet is allergic to flea bites, they will likely scratch themselves into an infection.
Signs of Pet Allergies: Unfortunately, your beloved pet cannot tell you whether they are experiencing allergies. There are a few signs for which you can be on the lookout:
- Excessive itching and scratching
- Hairless and hairless patches on the skin
- Excessive sneezing and runny noses
- Pain and discomfort
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Fatigue and lethargy
What Should Pet Owners Do About Allergies?
It is impossible to completely cure allergies, but there are steps you can take to ensure your furry family members are as comfortable as possible.
- Watch for the signs of allergies: It is vital to make sure you are watching for signs of allergies and sickness in your pets.
- Pay attention to digestive issues: Pay attention to your pet's excrement. It may not be pleasant, but if there is frequent diarrhea or unusual colors, it could be indicative of allergies.
- Preventative medication: If you know what triggers allergic reactions in your pets, there are medications that can help prevent it in the first place.
- Limit exposure to allergens: While it is challenging to keep your pets away from allergens, do everything you can to limit their exposure to the things that make them sick.
- Visit your veterinarian: Your pet's vet will be able to help you identify your pet's allergies and provide preventative strategies to help your furry friend avoid the things that trigger reactions.
When Should Your Pets See the Vet for Allergies?
When your pets are struggling, you want to make sure you do everything you can to make them more comfortable. At the first sign of allergies, it is a good idea to get in touch with your trusted veterinarian. You do not want your pets to be made sicker by a prolonged battle with their allergens. Your vet can help you narrow down the potential causes of their reactions and give you the knowledge and tools you need to help your pets feel better. Furthermore, pay close attention to any changes in the way your pets are reacting to allergens. If their behavior or reactions change, be sure to schedule a wellness check-up as soon as possible.
The team here at Avery Creek Pet Hospital wants to make sure pets, and their owners have the happiest and healthiest lives possible. If you would like more information about our veterinarian office, or you're ready to schedule your pet's wellness check-up, contact Avery Creek Pet Hospital.