Your pet can be allergic to anything from pollen to an insect bite or even a type of protein. Signs and symptoms may vary from individual to individual but usually range from mild to severe. Some allergies can be fatal if not given medical attention in time.
Why do Allergies occur?
Allergies occur due to the exaggerated response of the immune system towards any foreign material that has entered the body. Normally, the immune system is responsible for the protection of the body but in the case of allergies, it causes harm to the body.
What is the Mechanism of Allergy in the Body?
Exposure on multiple occasions to the same allergen over a brief period from months to a year can lead to an allergic reaction. The protein molecules of the allergen are bound with antibodies in the blood. This complex attaches itself to a mast cell in the blood which releases a chemical substance known as histamine. Histamine causes local inflammation leading to vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels), itchiness, redness, and swelling of that area leading to an allergic reaction.
What Types of Allergies can your Pets suffer from?
One of the most common types of allergies in pets is atopic dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to environmental factors such as pollen, dust mites, or mold. This type of allergy can cause itching, redness, and inflammation of the skin, which can lead to secondary infections and hair loss. Another common type of allergy in pets is food allergies, which can cause gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin problems.
It is worth noting that allergies in pets have a genetic component. Certain breeds of dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and Bulldogs, are more prone to developing allergies than others. Cats can also be affected by allergies, with Siamese and Himalayan cats being more susceptible.
What Clinical Signs are shown by a Pet suffering from an Allergy?
The symptoms of allergies in pets can be quite similar to those in humans. Signs and symptoms of allergies can vary from individual to individual but the most common signs that you can observe are;
- Hives (urticaria)
- Swelling of skin
- Itchiness on skin
- Itchy eyes
- Dyspnea (difficult breathing)
- Runny nose
- Continuous licking
- Drooling saliva
How can you treat Allergies in Pets?
An important thing you should remember while dealing with allergies is that allergies cannot be treated but they can be managed and avoided with care and precautions. Usually the following medicine or treatment is prescribed to pets while dealing with allergies:
- Antihistamine drugs that reduce histamine production in the body
- Avoid allergen contact
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Adrenaline can be helpful in case of acute allergic reactions because it causes vasoconstriction and bronchodilation
Note: Treatment protocols provided in this article are not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your pet’s condition with a veterinarian before giving any kind of medication. Don’t experiment with the life of your pets.
- Burke, A. (2021, September 21). Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment. American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-allergies-symptoms-treatment/
- Hot Spots in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital. (n.d.). Vca. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/allergy-general-in-dogs
- Understanding the Different Types of Allergies in Pets. Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota. https://aercmn.com/types-of-allergies-in-pets/
- American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/allergies-in-dogs-symptoms-treatments/
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/allergies