Just like us our pets can have skin allergies and when they are exposed to certain everyday substances they may begin to show symptoms. When an allergy occurs a cycle of itching and scratching is triggered when their immune system identifies the allergens as dangerous.
What causes allergies?
The most common causes of skin allergies in our pets are due to the following; fleas, environment, contact and food. Along with these causes our pets can be allergic to pollens, fungal spores, dust and dust mites.
What signs will I see?
There are many different symptoms that you may see from your pet if they are have a skin allergy. These include:
- Excessive licking and biting
- Red, itchy skin
- Chewing around the tail and paws
- Excessive rolling, rubbing or scooting
- Recurrent ear problems
- Body odour
- Hair loss, scabs and crusts on the skin
- Increased scratching
- Changes in the skin, sores or darkened skin
Pets can get skin allergies from certain types of food that their bodies deem as a dangerous allergen. The types of foods that are causing these allergies can be diagnosed using a blood test that is sent off to a laboratory to be look at. Some owners use an exclusion diet to start off with then slowly under the vets guidance introduce foods back in to see if they can pin point a suspect.
When blood work for allergies is sent away your vets will usually get a list of the allergens that have shown up and then inform you of the best treatment going forward. Some of the common foods that come back on these results are beef, wheat, pork and chicken. Using this information the vet should also be able to help you find foods that are more suitable for your pet.
What treatments are available?
There are many different forms of treatment for pet with skin allergies and it is always best to discuss what is best for your pet and you with your vet. There are creams and medicated shampoos for sore skin, tablet medication to help keep the itching under control, and diet if your pet suffers from a food allergy. In some cases the best course of treatment maybe a combination of the types of treatment, however this will be for your vet to decide.