Diagnosing & Treating Allergies in Pets
A veterinarian at Thomas Glen Erin Animal Hospital in Mississauga can diagnose allergies in pets, if you think your cat or dog may have a problem. Pet testing will help to verify whether an animal has allergies, but unfortunately, there is no cure. However, pet treatment options can help to alleviate some of the things in your pet's life that he may be allergic to. Here is a look at diagnosing and treating allergies in pets.
Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
Cats and dogs manifest allergies in many ways. They can be constantly licking all four paws, excessively itchy all over the body, repeatedly scratching ears, scooting their rear area, constantly sneezing. The main symptom that pets display when they have an allergy is itchiness. They start scratching themselves to the point where it can lead to secondary infections, such as a yeast infection on their skin. Allergies in pets can also lead to ear infections, due to scratching their itchy ears so much. Cats may pull out their hair and leave bald patches due to itchiness. If your pet starts scratching excessively, it may be an allergic reaction that necessitates a vet visit.
Diagnosing Allergies in Pets
Your veterinarian at Thomas Glen Erin Animal Hospital in Mississauga will first determine whether your pet has a food allergy or skin allergy. The vet will first do a blood draw to look for increased levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is a sign that indicates allergies.
Sometimes identifying an allergen is a simple process. For example, if you just started using a new pet shampoo or switched to a new food and your pet suddenly develops allergies, that new item may be the culprit. But if nothing has really changed in pet's lifestyle or environment, the process becomes more complicated.
There are a couple of tests available, such as an intradermal skin test and the RAST pet allergy skin test, which can be used to test for specific allergens. These tests tend to be a bit expensive, and there is no guarantee that they will identify the specific allergen that your pet is reacting to.
Pet Treatment & Managing Allergies
If your pet has a secondary infection due to the allergies, such an ear infection or a yeast infection, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics. If a contact allergen is identified, then you will need to try to eliminate that allergen from your household or minimize your pet's contact with that allergen. Your vet will discuss strategies on how to do this with you.
If your pet is diagnosed with a food allergy, your vet will work with you to develop and implement a food allergy elimination trial. This is a lengthy process in which you feed your pet a special diet for a period of weeks or months to try to identify specific ingredients that your pet reacts to.
Contact us for a Pet Testing for Allergies
If your dog or cat is scratching, sneezing, constantly licking paws and scooting more than usual, call the Thomas Glen Erin Animal Hospital in Mississauga for an appointment. Allergies in pets can lead to serious health problems if they are not identified and treated. Make sure to give us a call today to help treat your furry friend’s allergy issues.