Signs That Your Pet Has Allergies
Allergies are the bane of anyone who suffers from them, and your pets are no different. Pets are just as susceptible to allergic reactions as their human caretakers. The difference is that people can describe what they feel and illustrate their symptoms to doctors. Your pet doesn't have those communication skills, so it's up to savvy humans like pet owners and veterinary doctors to help get to the bottom of recurring health issues that are tied to allergies.
How can anyone tell if a dog or cat is suffering from an allergic incident? After all, the symptoms could be hard to spot if you're not sure what constitutes a reliable sign. With the help of veterinary services in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, you can help provide relief for pets who are suffering from the effects of allergies. Keep reading to learn how you can help spot some of the signs.
What Type of Allergy?
The first step in determining if your pet is showing signs of allergies is deciding what type of allergy may be at work. Pets can suffer from a few primary types of allergies which are largely categorized by their symptoms, which can make it easy to correlate causes with indications. The types of pet allergies can be described as skin allergies and food allergies. If your dog experiences a rash or other skin- or hair-related symptom in the presence of an allergen, a skin allergy is responsible. If your dog becomes ill or experiences diarrhea after eating a new food, the reason may be a food allergy. If symptoms seem to be seasonal or strike only when your pet is in a particular area or location, the cause could be environmental.
Basic Signs of an Allergy
While there are many potential symptoms of allergies and sensitivities, there are a few common indications that your pet may have an issue. Those symptoms can include itching, hives, inflamed skin, swelling around the face and head, diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing, itchy ears, runny eyes, constant licking, or chronic ear infections.
The signs of a skin allergy, such as acute flea dermatitis, are readily observable as they will manifest as itchy skin that can be dry and crusty or inflamed and puffy. In either case, your pet will experience noticeable discomfort and will probably scratch or lick the affected area incessantly. Sometimes, your pet will be so irritated by the skin allergy that he or she will create open wounds that may scab over. That can be problematic because such open sores can lead to secondary infections which can result in more serious conditions. Your pet may also experience unexplained hair loss in reaction to a skin allergy or the ensuing scratching it causes.
Food allergies can sometimes be tricky to diagnose because they can manifest themselves as skin allergies by causing superficial symptoms on the skin. They can also create a different set of symptoms, such as gastrointestinal distress or vomiting. Chronic ear or foot infections can also be a sign of a food allergy or sensitivity. In worst-case scenarios, food allergies can result in anaphylactic shock that can be life-threatening and cause difficulty breathing, for example. Food allergies in pets are driven by an immune response. However, there's another class of conditions that are often mislabeled as allergies. Food sensitivities can cause symptoms that are identical to true allergies, with the only response being that food sensitivities aren't caused by an immune over response.
If you've noticed any of these signs, your pet may suffer from an allergy. Consult with a veterinarian to get a definitive diagnosis before beginning any kind of treatment. To seek treatment for your pet's allergies, contact Forever Vets Animal Hospital at (904) 367-2787. We have 8 locations with extended hour. Serving Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Orlando, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and more.