Do you find your dog or cat to be scratching or repetitively chewing or licking themselves? Does your pet react by squirming if you scratch them with your nails or rub their ears? Does your pet get ear infections on a recurring basis or have an unpleasant odor to their ears? If you answered yes to any of the above, these are signs of medical issues which may be related to allergies. Of course, all of these scenarios have a variety of causes and should be brought up to your veterinarian because they all are likely making the pet uncomfortable. Without an examination including a thorough discussion of the pet’s history it is not possible to make a diagnosis, but, all of the signs above are common signs of allergies in your pet.
The veterinarians at Wagly can perform a thorough examination of your pet and help come up with a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment plan to alleviate your pet of their itching. We know it can be miserable for all creatures in the house to have to deal with allergies, so let us know if we can help relieve your pet’s symptoms today!
Allergies in pets are more common than you may imagine. An estimated 10-20% of dogs show clinical signs of allergies in their life, and dogs and cats can be allergic to as many things as people. As opposed to humans who most commonly have respiratory symptoms like sneezing or a runny nose in response to allergies, dogs and cats most commonly have skin-related symptoms (even in response to inhaled allergens like pollen).
The most common allergy dogs have is a flea allergy. The flea’s saliva is introduced into the dog’s body when the flea bites and the dog’s immune system reacts to the saliva bite. A single bite can cause a reaction for multiple days without the owner ever being able to detect live fleas.
The second most common cause of allergies in dogs is inhaled allergens (like pollen from plants or mold). Inhaled allergens resulting in itching or irritation of the skin is called Canine Atopic Dermatitis.
The third most common cause of skin issues in allergic dogs is food allergies. Allergies can develop into a food the dog eats (even if they have not changed foods), most commonly to the protein source like chicken or beef. Signs of food allergies may also include vomiting or diarrhea but may only have skin related issues. It is more common for dogs to be allergic to an animal protein like chicken than it is for them to be allergic to gluten, corn or grains.