Friday, February 12, 2016

Allergic Pets and People

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Allergic Pets and Allergic People!

Pets with skin problems account for more than 20% of the visits to the family veterinarian.   Sleuth, the Reporter Dog, has scratched out a few interesting tidbits about pet allergies from the Veterinary News Network.                                                                                 

  1. Pets will allergies will most often show signs such as itchy skin, reddened ears, or constant chewing and scratching at the skin.
  1. Unlike people, pets don’t have a lot of histamine receptors in their airways, so sneezing and sniffling is not a problem for pets. 
  1. Even in the winter, fleas are one of the top reasons for itchy pets.    Even if you aren’t seeing fleas, don’t discount them.  
  1. Other common reasons for itchy pets include allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen and mold spores.   The medical terminology for this type of allergy is known as “atopy”.  
  1. Finally, food allergies are actually quite common in pets.    It takes time for a food allergy to develop and are not due to recent diet changes.  Pets are usually allergic to the major protein or carbohydrate sources in the diet.
  1. Your veterinarian may use anti-histamines or steroids for mild cases of itchiness.   But, you should be aware that allergies are not something that can be cured, only managed.
  1. Veterinary dermatologists are also available and may have additional diagnostic and treatment resources on hand to help you and your pet.
  1. Bookmark as your guide to the latest animal health information on the Internet.