Just like humans, pets are able to have allergies too. Pet allergies develop in a similar way to human allergies, when a pet’s immune system is over-sensitive to a particular substance; they too begin to avoid that substance in order to prevent allergic reaction. Pets may experience an allergic reaction after inhaling a certain substance, coming into contact with a certain substance, or after eating a certain substance. Pets may develop allergies to a variety of substances or objects, including trees and pollen, cigarette smoke, fabrics, perfumes, fleas, foods, medications, cleaning products and rubber or plastics.
Allergies generally have the same effect on animals as they do in humans; however, animals tend to react to their allergies differently. Symptoms of pet allergies may include skin irritation, increased scratching, sneezing, vomiting, runny eyes, itchiness, swollen paws and constant grooming. If you suspect that your pet is allergic to something, take care to remove it from your pet’s environment to prevent an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian may be able to diagnose your pet’s allergy through an allergy test. Allergy tests are conducted by either taking a blood sample or performing a small injection and watching for an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian will recommend the testing method that is most suitable for your pet and the resources of their veterinary clinic.
Pet allergies are most effectively treated by removing the allergen from your pet’s environment. Although this is not always possible, taking steps to try and prevent your pet from have an allergic reaction will help their health and their veterinary bills in the long run. If your pet is allergic to dust, ensure that they are out of the house while you are vacuuming, and frequently wash your pet’s bedding in hot water to remove any dust allergens. If your pet is allergic to pollen, keep them inside during high pollen counts and rinse them off during pollen season before allowing them to come back in the house. Your veterinarian may recommend medication as a form of treatment for your pet’s allergies. Common antihistamines that are often prescribed for pets include Hydroxyzine, Prednisone and Chlorpheniramine.