Relief for Cat & Dog Allergies in Palos Heights, IL
Cats and dogs can suffer from allergies just like we do, but their symptoms are different. When they come in contact with an allergen, their immune system overreacts and often causes itchy skin. And with itchy skin, it’s natural that they’ll scratch, bite, and lick at themselves to relieve the itch. However, this can unfortunately lead to damaged skin, which causes even more discomfort for pets. At Palos Animal Hospital, we work with you find the right treatment for your pet for cat and dog allergies in Palos Heights, IL.
Signs Your Pet May Have Allergies
Allergies usually affect your pet’s skin. If you notice these symptoms, please make an appointment with your veterinarian:
- Red, irritated skin
- Excessive scratching, licking, and biting at their skin
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Licking and chewing at their paws
- Frequent ear infections
What is My Pet Allergic To?
Cats and dogs can have seasonal, household, and environmental allergies just like we can. Here are some of the most common allergies in pets:
- Grass, tree, or flower pollen
- Dust and dust mites
- Flea bites
- Certain fabrics (usually synthetic)
- Cleaning product ingredients
Pets can also be sensitive to certain food ingredients, usually proteins like beef, poultry, pork, eggs, or dairy. However, a reaction to food ingredients is very rarely a true allergy; it’s often simply a sensitivity. Still, the sensitivity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even skin conditions, so we treat it just as seriously as we would an allergy.
Diagnosing and Treating Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Since many allergy symptoms can also be indicative of other underlying conditions, it’s important to first run diagnostic tests to rule out other more serious conditions. We can also send a blood sample to an outside lab if needed to determine which substance your pet is allergic to. These tests are not always reliable for all allergies, especially in the case of food sensitivities. The only way to determine which food substance your pet is sensitive to is to put them on an elimination diet and then reintroduce each ingredient one by one to determine which one they’re allergic to. It can be a long process, but we’re with you every step of the way.
Once we establish that your pet has allergies, we’ll begin to formulate a treatment plan. Since every pet is different, there is no single solution in treating allergies. We’ll work closely with you to determine which treatment works best for them.
Treatment options include:
- Omega fatty acids
- Antihistamine therapy
- Steroid therapy
- Topical creams and medicated shampoos
- Apoquel (a daily anti-itch pill)
- Cytopoint (an anti-itch injection that lasts for 4-8 weeks)