Helping to Relieve Cat and Dog Allergies in North Haven, CT

Dogs and cats are just as likely as their human family members to develop allergies at some point during their lifetime. Itchy skin is one of the hallmarks of an allergy in pets, but it isn’t the only sign, and sometimes it can be a sign of another problem entirely. At Montowese Veterinary Clinic in North Haven, our veterinary team has considerable experience diagnosing cat and dog allergies and skin disorders, and helping concerned pet parents find a way to keep the problem under control. If you have an itchy and unhappy dog or cat, let us know so we can get to work on a solution to relieve their symptoms and minimize future flare-ups.

Don’t let your pet’s itching get worse. Book an appointment with us today!

Dog allergies in North Haven, CT

What Causes Pets to Become Allergic?

Dogs and cats can develop an allergy similar to how we do--by coming into contact with, ingesting, or inhaling a foreign antigen, and having an overblown immune system response.

The most common allergens for pets include:

  • Plant pollen
  • Grass
  • Mold spores
  • Dust and dust mites
  • Flea bites
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Fertilizers
  • Food ingredients (chicken, pork, eggs and wheat)
  • Food dyes

 

Recognizing an Allergy and/or Skin Disorder in Your Pet

Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease found in dogs and cats who have had an allergic reaction. This condition causes severe and ongoing itching of the skin, which forces the animal to scratch, lick, and bite at different areas in an attempt to relieve the itch. This can result in several telltale physical signs, such as:

  • Patchy hair loss between the toes, along the flanks, the groin, and armpits
  • Reddened and inflamed skin
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Dry, crusty skin
  • Abnormally oily skin
  • Recurrent ear infections

Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs and Cats

If your pet is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, we will need to go further to find out what is causing their allergic reaction. A variety of tests can be used to help diagnose an allergy, including:

  • Blood testing
  • Skin scraping
  • Skin cytology
  • Food elimination trial (if we suspect a food allergy)
  • Intradermal allergy testing (this would require sending your pet to a specialist)

How We Can Treat Pet Allergies

There are different options available for reducing your pet’s symptoms and making their allergy more manageable.

Medication

Dogs and cats can keep their allergies under control with medications such as antihistamines, steroids, cyclosporine, and other drugs. Not all medications are likely to be effective, however, so it might be necessary to move to another option if your pet shows no improvement.

Immunotherapy

Pet dermatologists can provide allergen specific immunotherapy, which involves giving your dog or cat doses of diluted allergens to reduce their sensitivity. It does take time for this procedure to take effect, but it can give your pet long-term relief.

Allergen Avoidance

It isn’t always easy or even possible to remove an offending allergen from your pet’s environment, but there are products available to remove allergens from your pet’s coat and skin, including hypoallergenic sprays and shampoos.

Hypoallergenic Diet

If a food allergy is affecting your pet’s quality of life, changing their diet might be the best solution. There are many different hypoallergenic dog and cat diets on the market, along with hypoallergenic treats and Omega-3 supplements.

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