autumnal equinox will start another season, when some pets get completely out of control due to seasonal allergies. If your dog or cat licks its paws, scratching constantly, rubbing his ears (which may be foul smelling), and allergies could be the culprit.
East Atlanta Animal vet says Patricia Starnes allergies are very common in pets. “I would say probably see four of 10 patients who have an allergy if inhaled allergy is an allergy, food allergies or fleas.”
Pets are allergic to many of the same things that human beings, except pets suffer skin irritations of the symptoms of hay fever. The skin becomes itchy, red, raw and sometimes secondary infection.
Allergies are divided into three categories:
The environment – by inhalation (atopy) allergies are most common contact allergy. Mites pollen and dust are more common.
Food – can be any part of the diet of an animal and usually the result of a genetic predisposition. Some types of food allergies are specific to certain breeds. Animals can be allergic to lamb and rice, chicken or meat. This can be a challenge, because most pet foods have the same ingredients.
Insects – Some animals are hypersensitive to infectious parasites and mosquitoes.
Prevention techniques such as these sometimes reduce allergy symptoms.
For inhalant allergies:
Wash bedding regularly
Change the air filter regularly at home, or even use an air purifier
Clean your pet’s coat and paws with a damp cloth to remove pollen from your skin when you come from outside
Make sure the pet does not get something to eat that is not hypoallergenic. Fish is not a good choice of a hypoallergenic diet for cats and dogs.
Make sure all treats and chews are hypoallergenic
For flea allergies:
Be very diligent about flea control and treatment of the environment
Adopt a multi-modal approach to control fleas, not based on a technique, as this may lead to resistance of fleas
“If you can strengthen your pet’s skin and the immune system, this will help them be more resistant to allergies. The best way to do this is a good diet and supplementing with a probiotic and fish oils,” says Starnes. “If you know your pet has an allergy seasonaly, ask your vet for a dose of antihistamine that can be given. Antihistamines can really help if they start at the first sign of itching.”
Allergies are very similar in cats and dogs, he says. Minor differences include the fact that the majority of flea allergy dermatitis and present as itching around the face and neck of cats as opposed to the base of the tail in dogs.
When allergies are more serious, experts such as Patricia White, a veterinary dermatologist skin and Veterinary Atlanta Allergy Clinic in Dunwoody.
“People bring their animals to me after having received the standard treatment has not helped,” says White.
“Pets have allergies to pollen at this time of year, usually the pollen of weeds and some grasses. The fleas are still a problem in the fall, especially in the southeast, until we have a good hard freeze in December, “he says.
“I usually begin with steroids and anti-itch medications. Antihistamines only work in about 30% of the animals and still do not work in animals the same way as people,” says White. “Some people are satisfied with the effect, but most find it does not work.”
When the first line of defense fails, the allergist allergy makes a “prick” test or skin test to identify about 70 allergens.
“Some vets do blood tests for allergies are probably not as reliable as a skin test. The cost is probably comparable, and you get the benefit of having a dermatologist guide the owner but the process of desensitizing an animal,” says White.
“We made a series of pollen, mold, human dander and cat dander or dog, then develop a vaccine based on test results. It is a precise, as the vaccine for animals,” says White.
The owner, who is trained by the veterinarian to administer the vaccine under the skin, will begin with an induction period, then gradually the animal to its therapeutic dose until the vaccines are administered once a week or every two weeks.
“Sometimes we have to make some changes evironmental. If the dog is sleeping in bed, can be good to get out of bed, if you are allergic to the owner. If the dog sleeps under the bed, then dust mites in the carpet can be a problem, “says White.
Secondary bacterial infections and yeast in the skin of the animal should be handled separately, as with medicated shampoos.