In our warm climate, allergies are a problem all year long. Yet, in the spring, when many plants are in bloom, the extra pollen in the air can make things even worse! Cats and dogs can suffer from allergies, too, and will often experience severely itchy skin. At Lake City Animal Hospital, our team is well-acquainted with cat and dog allergies and can offer your pet the relief they deserve through allergy management!
What Is My Cat or Dog Allergic To?
Cats and dogs can be allergic to many of the same things we are. In our area, environmental and flea allergies are the most common.
Common allergens include:
- Flower, tree, and grass pollens
- Flea saliva
- Mold spores
- Dust and dander
Allergy Symptoms in Dogs & Cats
Allergy symptoms for dogs and cats usually manifest at skin conditions. If left untreated, damaged skin can also become infected. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with us!
- Excessive scratching
- Chewing/licking paws
- Over-grooming (cats)
- Hair loss
- Hot spots
- Frequent ear infections
Less frequently, cats and dogs may also experience respiratory symptoms including coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. For food allergies, pets may experience vomiting, and diarrhea.
Managing Your Pet's Allergies
Allergies cannot be cured, but they can be managed. We’ll first run a series of diagnostic tests including blood work and skin scrapings to rule out any underlying disease or condition that could be causing the symptoms. If we find nothing of concern, we can safely assume your pet has allergies. We’ll work with you and your pet to determine the best management plan for relieve your pet’s allergy symptoms.
Allergy treatments may include:
- Cytopoint – an injection for dogs that controls the itch for 4-6 weeks
- Apoquel – a daily tablet for dogs
- Atopica – a daily tablet for cats
- Medicated shampoos that help to remove allergens from the fur and skin
- Topical creams that offer itch relief
- Antifungals to treat secondary fungal infections
- Antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections
- Elimination diet to determine if your pet has a food allergy