Allergies in dogs and cats – Atopy and food allergy
Have you ever seen your dog or cat itch for no apparent reason? Chewing on his or hers legs or tail? Maybe even observed some redness under their arms? It’s a good chance that your pet is suffering from allergies, and it’s more common than you’d think!
What are allergies?
Allergies in dogs and cats, same as in humans, are the result of an overreaction of the immune system to something that is not naturally a threat. The materials the body might react to includes air-borne pollen, nuts, or even laundry detergent, which are not supposed to be considered a threat. These materials are called antigens, or allergens when referring to allergic reaction in particular. The three common ways our pets gets in contact with the antigens are eating them, breathing them, or physically touching them.
How will I know if my pet is suffering from allergy?
The clinical signs of cats or dogs suffering from allergies are itching and face rubbing, scratching, smelly odor, frequent ear and skin infections, vomiting, and even diarrhea or an increased number of bowel movements and gases.
More than anything else, dogs and cats with allergies are itchy. The skin areas that you might see your pet itches more often are the ears, eyes, feet (biting between the toes usually), arm pits, groin, and around the anus.
What causes allergies in dogs and cats?
The allergy symptoms are seen whenever white blood cells (WBC) sense an allergen and, when activated, stimulate histamine release. Allergic symptoms can be stopped by blocking the histamine with antihistamines (such as Diphendramin) and steroids (such as Prednisone).
Common allergies in dogs and cats – food allergies and atopy
The most common cause of pet allergies are flea bites, but we will discuss that in a separate article. Here we will discuss atopy (air-borne antigens) and food allergies. Pets are commonly allergic to beef, dairy, wheat, fish, pollens, eggs, yeast, chicken, pork, lamb, corn, soybeans, and rice. Before getting rid of any is not all blossoming plants at your pet enviroment, it it usually more easy to eliminate other causes to the allergy – treating against fleas, starting a food allergy elimination trial (changing the pet diet to contain only one kind hypoallergenic food for 2-3 months and hoping for the symptoms to fade) and so on.
Allergies can be treated. Don’t let your pet suffer in vain.