Yes, it is true, your dog and cat can have allergies and your Antioch veterinarian can help!
Dogs and cats, just like humans, can have allergies. More than 30% of all skin irritation in these animals can be attributed to allergies. You may notice that your pet’s symptoms get worse during the spring and summer, simply because of the increased amounts of pollen in the air during those times. Your Antioch veterinarian can help to diagnose these allergies.
How can I have my pet’s allergies diagnosed?
After a thorough examination your Antioch veterinarian will decide if allergy testing is indicated for your pet. Having ruled out other possible conditions, a small sample of blood may be drawn and submitted to our preferred allergy laboratory, Spectrum Labs, for diagnostic evaluation. There, your pet’s serum (a portion of the blood), will be tested for sensitivity to inhalants such as trees, grasses, weeds, and shrubs, fungi, house and dust mites, as well as a host of food types used as ingredients in commercial dog and cat food.
What about treatment for my pet’s allergies?
The best form of treatment for allergies is avoidance of the offending allergen(s). In most cases, however, this is not possible. Steroid drugs are often used for short-term relief of symptoms, but prolonged used can have serious side effects. Hyposensitization is another beneficial alternative. In this case, your Antioch veterinarian will prescribe allergy treatment sets that are formulated specifically for your pet. The treatment injections are given in increasing concentrations. This helps your pet to build tolerance to the offending allergens so it can love more comfortably in its environment.
How effective is this form of treatment?
Some allergies dissipate with time and treatment. In other cases, animals may require continued “allergy shots” to maintain tolerance to the allergens in question. With adherence to the treatment schedule, one can expect an excellent chance of elimination or reduced dependence on steroid drugs, in most cases after 3-6 months of treatment, after which the “allergy shots” are often given monthly.
What about food allergies?
Since dogs and cats cannot be hyposensitized to foods, elimination is the only form of treatment in the case of food allergies. Should your pet test positive to food, your Antioch veterinarian will supply you with a list of food free from ingredients to which your pet is allergic.
How does my pet show me it has allergies?
While the causes of allergies in humans and animals are the same, the clinical signs displayed by allergies may differ. In humans, the classical signs of allergy are nasal and respiratory symptoms. In animals though, it is far more common to show signs of skin irritations, your Antioch veterinarian can diagnose these allergies in your pet.