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  • Writer's pictureJosie

Pet Allergies

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

While it's common for even pet owners to have allergies to their pets, I'm talking about allergies in the pet themselves. Like humans, animals can have such a severe allergic reaction; they go into anaphylactic shock. This can be fatal if the dog's throat swells shut, not allowing air exchange. Other symptoms of allergies include itching, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, constant licking, hives, swelling, and chronic ear infections. Because several of these symptoms could indicate another illness, a vet diagnosis is essential to treat their condition accurately. I absolutely love my vet! Every time I have had a concern, I call the facility. I usually leave a message with the front desk (in non-urgent situations), and the vet returns my call with the plan/suggestions.

Jax right after being rescued. Notice the patches of hair missing? He had puppy mange!

Common causes of allergies could be food, fleas, or the environment. Whenever Athena begins to sneeze, I always apologize and jokingly say she inherited that from mom (I also have terrible allergies). Another term for environmental allergies is called atopy. If the allergies are severe enough, you can discuss allergy shots with the veterinarian. Common causes of environmental allergies are pollen, mite dander, or even grass. Flea allergies can range from mild itchy/scratchy to a hypersensitive reaction that causes a systemic response. I use essential oils for the furniture and dog beds along with monthly topical treatments to help treat and prevent fleas and mites. Other treatment options include shampoos or prescription medications from the vet. Lastly, dogs can be allergic to a protein in their food! This one can be difficult to determine the cause. With your vet's help, you can figure out which protein is affecting your dog's immune system and avoid food the food that may contain that ingredient.

While the irritation can start as small, complications can soon arise. Anytime the skin is broken, this is a pathway for bacteria, leading to skin infections. Knowing the differences can also help differentiate between allergies or irritation from parasites such as puppy mange, also known as demodicosis. The skin can become irritated enough that it falls out. This needs to be treated with a medicated shampoo and is usually diagnosed by a trained veterinarian. If you are at all unsure, always get a vet opinion before treating. A fatal reaction is anaphylactic shock. However, dehydration and malnutrition can occur if food allergies go unresolved. While these are not as fatal immediately, they can be detrimental to a dog's longevity and health.

Don't forget to fur-low for more,

The Pawsitive Writer

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