Signs of Allergies in Pets

Have you ever suspected that your furry buddy might be suffering from allergies? Just like us, our buddies can also experience allergic reactions. As the allergy can cause minor to life-threatening effects, it’s crucial for pawrents to be aware of the different signs of allergy so that quick medical attention can be given. So let’s see what are the symptoms and how to manage them for our little buddy.

Understanding the types of allergies in pets 🤔

Food Allergy: Certain foods or ingredients in your pets’ diets might cause negative reactions, which can result in food allergies and other related symptoms. The good thing is that a different diet may be able to effectively regulate your pet’s food allergy. Your veterinarian can be consulted about prescription diets or specific ingredients you should avoid when buying snacks for your furry friends! 

Environmental allergy: Environmental causes such as pollen, dust mites, or mold can cause allergies in furry friends, resulting in a variety of symptoms. Behaviors such as scratching, biting, licking, or gnawing at the paws, red and irritated skin, rashes on the skin, scooting, or severe ear infections are also symptoms. These symptoms may be seasonal or year-round, depending on your pet’s allergy sensitivities and how extreme it is.

Contact Allergy: When certain substances such as certain fabrics or cleaning products contact your pet’s skin they cause allergic reactions, these are called contact allergens. The most common and prevalent causes of contact allergy are topical antibiotics (neomycin), topical preparation vehicles (propylene glycol), shampoos (chlorhexidine), flea treatments, carpet deodorizers, and metals.

Symptoms of Allergies in Pets 🔎‼

Itchiness: Your pet may have allergies if you notice them continuously scratching, licking, or nibbling themselves. They might be trying to avoid the irritating allergens that are making them uncomfortable. Notice if your pet is routinely biting their paws, chewing on their tail or other body parts, or scratching at their body. Their skin may result in some trauma caused by allergies, leading to open sores, infection, skin inflammation, and hair loss.

Skin Irritation and Redness: Skin issues like signs of rashes, hives, hot spots, or swollen or irritated skin in pets can be caused by allergic reactions. It’s possible for your pet to have persistent skin sores or bald patches. Your pet’s skin may suffer from a number of skin conditions as a result of allergies. Allergies may be the reason why your pet develops rashes, redness, or hot areas on their skin. Your pet may become much more uncomfortable if they are constantly scratching and itching. Keep an eye out for any suspicious changes in their behaviors or skin tone.

Ear Infections and Headshaking: Allergies can cause ear problems in pets. If you observe your pet shaking their head a lot, scratching their ears a lot, or if their ears are red, inflamed, or have an unpleasant odor, it could be a telltale sign that something’s wrong. Ear irritation is common in pets with allergies. If your pet is continuously scratching their ears, tossing their head, or showing indications of pain, take them to the vet to be sure! Allergens, such as pollen or specific substances in their food, might irritate and inflame their sensitive ears.

Sneezing, Coughing, or Runny Nose: Allergies can cause respiratory issues in pets as well, just like they can in people. Your pet may be experiencing a reaction to dust or pollen if they start sneezing regularly, coughing, or have a runny nose. Do you find your pet engaging in sudden sneezing fits or sporting a runny nose? These symptoms are not exclusive to humans with colds; pets can experience them too.

Red and Watery Eyes: Our pets’ eyes are not immune to the effects of allergies. If you notice your pet’s eyes becoming red, watery, or swollen, allergies could be to blame. Allergens in the environment can cause an inflammatory response in their eyes, leading to discomfort and excessive tearing. Keep an eye out for these signs of irritation.

Digestive Issues: Your pet may have symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or increased gas as a result of allergies affecting their digestive system. It’s important to consider the possibility of food allergies or sensitivities if you detect any changes in your pet’s appetite, weight loss, or stool consistency. Their diet may contain elements that cause these unpleasant reactions.

Boot Scoots or licking their anal glands: The anal region of your pet may become inflamed and itchy as a result of allergic reactions, which can cause discomfort and the natural response of boot scooting. Anal gland issues like impaction or infection may be made more likely in some situations by allergies altering the viscosity of the anal gland secretions.

Pets can be allergic to various substances in our environment which are allergens. Here are some common allergens ; 

⚠️ Pollens

⚠️ Dust mites

⚠️ Mold and mildew

⚠️ Grass, trees or plants

⚠️ Flea saliva

⚠️ Food

⚠️ Medications

⚠️ Insect stings

⚠️ Cleaning product

⚠️ Cat litters

⚠️ Shampoo

How to manage and treat allergy symptoms

Identify and Avoid Allergens: Identification and reduction of exposure to the allergens causing the reaction is the first step in controlling pet allergies. This may include avoiding certain foods, altering your pet’s diet, using hypoallergenic bedding, or limiting exposure to environmental allergens like dust or pollen.

Topical Treatments: Topical medications can help pets with skin allergies. Medicated shampoos, sprays, or ointments that soothe the skin, lessen irritation and stop secondary infections.

Dietary Modifications: Switching to a hypoallergenic diet or alternative protein sources can help reduce symptoms of food allergies.

Fatty acid Supplements: Omega fatty acids, which are contained in many fish oil supplements, are another method for relieving itchy skin or preventing skin infection. They will also assist to strengthen and soften your pet’s coat.

Medications: Veterinarians may occasionally recommend drugs to assist manage allergic reactions in pets. Itching, inflammation, and other allergy-related symptoms can be managed with the help of antihistamines, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressive medications. These drugs should only be administered, though, with veterinary supervision.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy): Immunotherapy may be suggested for animals with severe allergies. This involves a course of allergy shots or sublingual drops that over time desensitize the immune system of your pet to particular allergens. Immunotherapy has the potential to lessen allergic responses severity.

Care tips for future allergic reactions 💡🙆‍♀️

💁🏻 Pet parents can lower their chances of future allergy reactions by identifying and avoiding known allergens.

💁🏻 Grooming and bathing on a regular basis help eliminate allergies from a pet’s coat and skin.

💁🏻 Regular vacuuming and air purification can help allergy-prone pets.

💁🏻 A balanced diet that is suited for a pet’s needs can improve general health and control allergies.

💁🏻‍ Frequent veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatment can benefit a pet’s overall health and prevent issues.

Of course, MyFriend will always advise pet parents to visit the vet or hospital if any abnormal behavior or physical symptoms can be observed. After all, our pets are best in a professional’s hands! But before that can happen, we have to take notice that something is wrong! 

For the health of our furry family members, it is important for us pawrents to be aware of the symptoms of allergies. If you believe your fur baby may be allergic to something, see a veterinarian in order to receive a proper diagnosis and go over your treatment options. With their advice, you can make sure your little buddy has a comfortable, allergy-free future while also helping them find relief. Because in the end, it’s all about making sure our fur babies are happy, healthy, and ready to conquer the heart of the world—one adorable paw at a time! 🌈✨

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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