Did you know that animals can get allergies, just as we can? This happens when pets’ bodies decide that a certain substance is hostile, and launch an autoimmune response. Fido and Fluffy can’t tell you if something didn’t agree with them, but there are some signs to watch for. A local West Greenwich, RI vet offers some information on pet allergies below.
Just like us, dogs and cats with allergies often react to things like grass, leaves, pollen, mold, dust, and dander. Pollen from trees, such as oak, ash, and cedar, can also spark reactions. Sometimes Fido and Fluffy become allergic to fumes or vapors, such as cigarette smoke or certain perfumes. Our furry friends also sometimes react to insect bites, specific materials, or to ingredients in their shampoos. Food allergies are also not uncommon.
Keep an eye out for signs of allergic reactions. These may include things like red, watery eyes; itchiness; skin irritation, such as redness, flaking, or hot spots; swelling; snoring; and/or sneezing. Allergies are also sometimes the villain in stubborn, recurring ear problems. You may notice your fuzzy buddy continually licking or biting themselves, or perhaps rubbing against things to ease their itching. Allergies may also cause flatulence, vomiting, or diarrhea. Occasionally, allergies cause more severe reactions, including anaphylactic shock. These can include things like difficulty breathing, fainting, and seizures. In rare cases, they can even be deadly. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these warning signs.
Allergies can’t be cured, but there are treatment options available. Medication may help. However, you should never give your dog or cat any type of medication unless your vet specifically recommends it. If you know or suspect that your furry pal has allergies, contact your vet right away. Testing will be needed to determine what Fido or Fluffy are reacting to.
Home care can also go a long way here. Vacuuming and dusting frequently can help, as can changing your air filters regularly. You may want to monitor pollen counts, and keep Fido inside as much as possible when levels are high. Your vet will be able to offer specific recommendations after a specific diagnosis has been made.
If you know or suspect that your pet has allergies, please do not hesitate to contact us. As your West Greenwich, RI animal clinic, we’re here to help!