If your pet seems to be itching more than usual, your first thought may be fleas. But if it’s not that, it may be allergies. Yes, dogs and cats can get allergies just like people. They can have environmental allergies, food allergies, allergic contact allergies, or flea allergies. A veterinarian can detect clinical signs for clues as to whether your pet is experiencing allergies. Your accounting of symptoms is extremely helpful, including how long your pet has been acting this way, and what sorts of possible allergens they have been in contact with.
Skin or blood tests that measure the body’s immune response to suspected allergens can confirm the diagnosis of environmental allergies. Food allergies are diagnosed with an elimination diet trial. Your veterinarian will advise you on feeding your pet a limited, hypoallergenic diet, usually for two to three months. Prescribed antihistamines or corticosteroids often help control symptoms, while specially formulated shampoos or other topical therapies minimize itchiness and reduce excessive scratching. If you think your dog or cat may have allergies, please call our office for an appointment. Allergies can especially common in the summer, when pets spend more time outside among plants, fleas, and other potential allergens.