March 2020: All About Allergies
All About Allergies
Just like people, dogs and cats can be allergic to common substances in the environment, such as grass and tree pollen, mold, and dust mites. Pets may also be allergic to fleas, carpets, insecticides, and even ingredients in shampoos. These allergens trigger itch, and depending on what is causing the allergy, your dog or cat may suffer seasonally—or all year round.
To get relief from allergic itch, your dog or cat may scratch, lick, chew, or bite, which unfortunately can make things worse and even lead to skin infection or a rash. If you notice your pet is itchy, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian and get it checked out.
Dogs with persistent itch due to allergies are often diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition very similar to eczema. This skin condition is more common than you may think. In fact, it affects up to 10% of dogs worldwide.
Over time, atopic dermatitis can worsen and can affect your pet’s quality of life. With the itch, the skin can become red, scaly and irritated and a rash can form. If your dog or cat is not treated, there is even a risk of skin and ear infections. Pets with this type of allergic itch sometimes lose interest in playing, too. The constant scratching invades playtime and family time. It can also affect your sleep—listening to the sounds of licking, chewing, and scratching over and over again. Who wouldn’t stay awake?
While there is no cure for allergic itch due to atopic dermatitis, the treatment goal is to reduce symptoms and allow time for your pet's skin to heal.
Included is an allergy checklist. If your pet is suffering from what you think are seasonal allergies, fill out this checklist and schedule an appointment to talk with one of our doctor's about the best treatment for your pet.