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Allergy FAQs

The bad news is that it’s very common for dogs and cats to get allergies. Their allergy symptoms are often different than what people with allergies experience. The good news is that most allergies can be treated with help from a vet near me and you. The veterinary professionals at Belleview West Animal Hospital have compiled a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding pet allergies.


Why Do Pets Get Allergies?

Allergy symptoms come from the body’s immune system overreacting to the presence of an allergen. Just why this happens is unknown.

What Things Are Pets Allergic To?

Dogs and cats can be allergic to a wide variety of things. The most common include:

  • Saliva from insects, which pets get through bites
  • Perfumes
  • Laundry detergent
  • Medication
  • Flea collars
  • Specific kinds of foods, such as beef or eggs
  • Specific ingredients added to pet foods, such as artificial preservatives
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust and dust mites.

What are the Symptoms of Allergies in Pets?

The most common signs of pet allergies appear on the skin. Pets with allergies:

  • Itch constantly
  • Have chronic ear infections
  • Has one or more rashes
  • Have bald spots from the scratching
  • Have hives or other skin swellings
  • May have wounds from scratching.

Other common signs, which may appear with skin problems, include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Passing more gas than usual
  • Noisy breathing, including wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes
  • Coughing
  • Some dogs get hyperactive.

How are Pet Allergies Diagnosed?

Since these symptoms match other health problems, your vet will need to run a few tests to determine if your dog has something other than allergies. These tests include a skin scrape, a hair analysis, a blood test, and a physical exam. If it seems as if your pet has allergies, then another testing goes to the next phase. Common allergens are injected into your pet’s skin. If the skin reacts, then the allergen has been identified and can be treated.

How are Food Allergies in Pets Diagnosed?

Food allergies are harder to diagnose. Your pet needs to be on a strict diet for weeks to clear all possible food allergens from his or her body. One food is added to the diet to see if allergy symptoms return. If the allergy symptoms return, then the allergen has been discovered and can be eliminated from your dog’s diet in the future.

How are Allergies in Pets Treated?

Pets are given medications like corticosteroids to stop the itching, and antihistamines to stop inflammation. If your pet has scratched the skin open, then antibiotics are given. You then need to try and remove the allergen from your pet’s life.

Schedule an Appointment with our Veterinarian in Littleton, CO

If you have further questions about pet allergies and live in the Littleton, CO area, contact Belleview West Animal Hospital at (303) 979-1090 to make an appointment today.