Allergy Season Has Arrived, Understanding Pet Allergies

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­Like human beings, allergies are common in pets—especially dogs. Intense itching is the hallmark of most allergies. The end result of all allergies: inflamed skin (axillary and inguinal area), infected ears and swollen paws–uncomfortable for pets and a feeling of helplessness to their owners.

 

MOST COMMON ALLERGIES

Seasonal Allergies (Atopy): Usually April – October
• Licking & Scratching of face, paws, axilla, periocular,
external ear, groin and abdomen
• Usually starts at 6 months lasting up to 3 years
• Due to chronicity of disease, skin lesions may be mild
to severe ear diseases
Food Allergy: Usually develops pruritus (itchy skin)
prior to 6 months of age or after 6 years of age
• Nonseasonal, year-round pruritus
• Young puppies show generalized pruritus
• Vomiting may take place
• Pruritus in facial, ear, extremities, ventral abdomen,
(same as seasonal allergy)
• Pruritus in anal area
• In cats- facial pruritus is the hallmark
Atopy and Food Allergy: Year-round, mostly April – Oct
• Very common
• Very uncomfortable for pet (nightmare for owner and
challenging for the veterinarian)
Flee Allergy: Usually June – Oct
• Pruritus mostly in tail, lumbar and groin area
• Intense itching
Insect Bite Allergy
• In an insect bite allergy (mosquitoes, black flies, ants),
pruritus and dermatitis is found in the nose, pinna,

muzzle, groin and extremities­­­

WHAT TO DO

Seasonal Allergies
1. Act as soon as possible
2. Intense itching creates chronic skin lesions which adds further irratation and scratching
3. Benadryl (over-the-counter) is helpful in case of emergency
4. Twice a week bathing is helpful when allergen load is high
5. Cytopoint injection (performed at Animal Hospital) will
alternatively relieve symptoms for up to one month
Food Allergy
1. Avoidance of allergic food is the ultimate answer
2. Chicken, beef, fish, and egg are the most common food allergens
3. Try single protein (chicken, beef, egg or fish), one at a time, for up to six weeks and notice if there is an increase or decrease in pruritus
Seasonal and Food Allergy
• Easy to suspect, however, difficult to diagnose
• Plan treatment with your veterinarian
Flea/Tick/Mosquito/Insect bite
• Multiple products are available
• From April – Nov, begin monthly treatment applications
• Avoid outdoor activities in peak insect season