Since we know that our pets can have allergies, it’s best to figure out how to deal with them. Obviously, avoiding the allergen is the best option, but sometimes just learning what is causing the reaction can be difficult. Continue reading to assist your veterinarian in diagnosing the allergen and to learn how you can help your pet!
If your pet appears to have seasonal allergies, you may only need allergy medications during that particular season! Some pets have reactions to pollen during the spring and others are affected by mold spores in the fall. Your veterinarian may prescribe a number of different short-term medications to help give your pet some relief.
If your pet seems to have allergy symptoms all year around, most cases are caused by either dust mites or a food allergy.
Contrary to popular belief, most dogs with food allergies are allergic to an animal protein (duck, chicken, beef, etc) and NOT gluten or grains. In order to determine if a food allergy is present, your veterinarian will likely recommend a food trial-a period of time in which your pet is on a hypoallergenic diet with NOTHING else (no treats, no carrots, no nothing) in order to see if allergy symptoms reduce. The time frame for a food trial can be a few weeks to a few months, depending on your individual pet’s condition and situation. Purina, Hills, and Royal Canin all make quality hypoallergenic foods, so there is sure to be one that your pet will enjoy.
As for dust mite allergies, these can be maintained with the help of long term allergy products (like Apoquel and Atopica) and keeping your home as clean as you can.
Your pet may also be allergic to fleas, certain medications, or fabrics. By using a monthly flea prevention product (such as Vectra for cats or Vectra 3D for dogs), you can stop fleas from biting your pets and triggering the reaction. Alert your veterinarian if you notice any reaction to a medication or fabric, so your veterinarian can know to avoid these products in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help your veterinarian in diagnosing your pet’s allergies or more about the available products help your pet’s symptoms, check out some of our previous articles!
Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, our veterinarians will work with you not only to determine the cause of your pet’s allergy symptoms, but also the best treatment plan for your individual pet. If you think your pet needs some relief from allergy symptoms, give us a call at 216-749-7161 and we’d be happy to help!