Allergies in cats and dogs are common, and can become an itchy problem when left untreated. Unlike in humans, allergies in animals do not typically produce respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes (although these can be present in cats). In most cases, allergies in pets cause problems with the skin and ears.

Dog running in forestThe symptoms of allergies in pets often include:

  • Persistent scratching
  • Biting or licking at paws and other parts of the body
  • Ear infection
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs

The causes of allergies in pets are varied, but generally fall into one of four types:

  • Food allergy
    Despite concern over grains, many food allergies are actually caused by protein sources, such as chicken, beef, and soy.
  • Airborne allergy/seasonal
    These allergies include plant and tree pollens, grasses, dust, dander, and weeds.
  • Contact allergy
    Some pets are highly sensitive to chemicals used in everything from laundry detergent to synthetic carpeting.
  • Flea bite dermatitis
    This allergic reaction occurs from an overreaction of the immune system to flea saliva and can cause intense itching.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of an allergy, we encourage you to schedule an appointment so we can get to the source of the problem. Through the use of blood testing, food trials, or skin testing, we can accurately diagnosis the allergy and get your pet started on the most effective treatment.