Pet allergies are always a struggle because you hate watching your furry friend suffer and not know how to help them. From constant itching to upset stomach, there’s a wide-range of symptoms a dog can experience due to allergies. Diagnosing common pet allergies can be a long process for some pet owners, but for some, a quick visit to the vet can determine the culprit. Whatever your pet’s siutatuon is, stay positive and pay close attention to what could be causing the flare ups. 

Keep in mind that there is a difference between food intolerance and a food allergy. Food intolerance is when your pet has difficulty digesting food or an ingredient in a food, whereas a food allergy means the food causes an immune response. 

What if I think my pet has allergies? 

If you are concerned that your pet has allergies, you will want to talk to your vet and describe their symptoms. Your vet will then give you recommendations and may decide to order a blood test, also known as RAST testing. RAST testing stands for a radioallergosorbent test, which will be used to determine allergies to specific antigens. By doing this test, your vet will then be able to determine what your pet is specifically allergic to and can then formulate a healthy plan of action. 

Common dog allergies

What are the most common allergy possibilities? 

Food Allergy 

Food allergies in pets are actually not as common as people would think, but they are possible and it can be tricky to determine what exactly is the ingredient causing allergic reactions. There are at-home allergy tests you can send into a lab and have your pet officially diagnosed, but you should still always consult with your vet provider. It is also important to remember that if your pet is experiencinging constant digestion or gastrointestinal symptoms, allergies are not the most common cause. More commonly, gastroinstetstinal issues can be caused by parasites, viruses, bacterial infections, or even pancreatitis. Dogs especially are known to eat things they shouldn’t, so if you pet shows any signs of acute stomach issues, it is always best to get then to a vet as soon as possible. If your pet is diagnosed with food allergies, there are some great allergy pet food options options on the market. 

 

Flea Triangle where flea allergy occurs
More info at VCA Animal Hospital Website

Flea Allergy 

Flea allergies are an allergic reaction to the proteins in flea saliva. An allergic reaction to flea allergies is the most common allergy in pets, and more common than food allergies. It is common for owners to never see a flea on their pet, yet their pet is diagnosed with flea allergy. Flea allergy dermatitis can be caused by a single fleabite and can last for days. If your pet is always itching, but you give them flea baths, it could still be a flea allergy. On dogs, the itching will usually be in the flea triangle or their backside. A solution to this is talking to your vet about it, and they can treat it with parasite pills or explore other anti-flea options to deter fleas from biting your pet. Your vet may use corticosteroids if your pet experiences an episode and needs quick relief. Overall, prevention is key when it comes to staying on top of your pet’s flea allergies. 

 

Atopy Allergy 

Atopy allergy is a skin reaction to inhaled allergens. Atopy allergies caused by pollens and other airborne allergens, similar to humans. Unfortunately, atopy is the uncomfortable itching your pet experiences as a reaction to these air allergens. This condition can affect dogs and cats, and can often be seasonal, like humans. Sometimes they can experience cough or sneeze, but most commonly the main symptom is itchy skin. When you consult with a vet, they will often prescribe corticosteroid treatment if their itching is really bad, and possibly antihistamines. Severe cases can call for advanced treatment.

 

If you think your pet is experiencing allergies, call your veterinarian today to get a professional analysis. Pet insurance can alleviate these costs, so get a quote today.