Pet Allergies: What You Need to Know
Are you worried that your dog or cat may be suffering from allergies? Your pet cannot talk to you about what they are going through, but they may be extremely uncomfortable. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to manage their allergies. At Pershing Animal Hospital in Hyde Park, we can advise you on environmental changes and medications that can help your pet enjoy allergy-free living.
What Are Pet Allergies?
The immune system of both humans and animals protects us from foreign substances in the body. Ideally, that system detects something harmful and attacks it before the substance can hurt us. Unfortunately, sometimes the immune system over-reacts. It triggers in the presence of harmless, everyday substances and releases a flood of histamines. Histamines cause swelling, itching, and inflammation that are well-known symptoms of allergies.
What Can Pets Be Allergic To?
Pets can be allergic to a variety of things in the environment and in their food. Common triggers in the natural world include:
- flea bites
Even indoor pets may develop allergies due to indoor environmental triggers like:
- dusty air
- new bedding
- cleaning chemicals
- room fresheners
- dust mites
Food allergies can be a tricky issue. Many pet owners miss this possible allergen because they are feeding their pets the same kibble as always. However, sometimes pet food manufacturers change their formula or cut corners by using cheaper ingredients. It is a good idea to check the packaging for anything different. Another option is that your pet may have developed a sensitivity to an ingredient over time.
Many pet foods have a long ingredient list, so it may not be clear to you what is causing the symptoms. Your veterinarian can share helpful strategies for narrowing down what is triggering the allergy. You can then switch to a food that does not include the problem ingredient.
How Can A Veterinarian Help?
We touched on identifying triggers above. Once you and your vet have figured out what is causing the reaction, you can take action to keep the allergens away from your pet. This could include switching detergents, wiping your dog down when they have been outside, dusting frequently, etc. Your veterinarian may also prescribe creams or other medications. These can reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of your pet’s allergies.
Call Pershing Animal Hospital Today!
At Pershing Animal Hospital, our team is dedicated to serving the veterinary needs of the Hyde Park and Chicago, IL area. We are a full-service facility that can handle everything from checkups to routine procedures and emergency services. Contact us today to make an appointment for your pet.