Pets’ Allergies Are Worse Than Ever


animalgeneral.com dog cat scratching ear2 Pets Allergies Are Worse Than Ever

Just like humans, animals also show allergic symptoms, when their immune systems notice or recognize certain types of substances called allergens. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and mostly not very harmful to most animals, one with allergies may have an extreme reaction to them.

Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or if it comes into contact with a cat or dog’s skin. As the body tries to expel these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear. Before an animal can have an allergic reaction, he must be exposed to the allergen at least twice. The first exposure causes the immune system to manufacture antibodies to the allergen. A later exposure triggers an allergen-antibody reaction that releases histamine, the chemical mediator responsible for the reaction.

The most common symptoms in both cats and dogs are; itchy, red and moist or scabbed skin, increased scratching and runny eyes. Increased scratching, on the back or base of tail is most commonly a flea allergy. Itchy ears and ear infections, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, snoring, paw chewing/swollen paws and constant licking are other signs of allergies, in pets. Allergic cats and dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.

itching images Pets Allergies Are Worse Than EverPet allergies fall into four categories:  a) Those caused by fleas and other biting insects (flea allergy dermatitis), b) Those caused by inhaled allergens such as dust mites, grasses, molds, and tree and weed pollens (canine atopy), c) Those caused by foods and drugs (food allergies) and d) Those caused by irritants that have direct contact with the skin (contact allergies).

Hives are an allergic reaction characterized by the sudden appearance of raised, circular, itchy whelps on the skin, face and elsewhere. These may cause the hair to stick out in little patches. Frequently, the eyelids will also swell. Hives generally appear within 30 minutes of exposure and disappear within 24 hours.

Insect bites are a common cause of hives. They can also occur after vaccinations and from antibiotics, such as penicillin and tetracycline. Topical insecticides and soaps are other causes. Hives that come and go are usually caused by an allergen in the animal’s environment.

I had ‘syncronized scratching’ occuring, at my home, since before the Olympics! It continued for over 4 months.  FINALLY, the carpet was determined to be the problem.  I wasn’t looking forward to rushing for new carpet or hardwood floors.  I thought that I had been doing the right thing all along but…

Having numerous dogs, occasionally pet sitting and sometimes having puppies running around, I have my carpets cleaned twice a year.  I tried changing carpet cleaners and went with an all natural product but that didn’t help either.  The carept cleaner informed me of a potential resolve, ‘CARPET STRIPPING’.  This treatment removes all of the chemicals, that have ever been applied to treat  the carpet.  THIS WAS MY ANSWER!

Additional Treatments: When possible, identify the allergen and prevent further exposure. When a food allergy is suspected, modify the pet’s diet. When hives appear shortly after a shampoo or application of a topical insecticide, bathe your furry friend with a hyper-allergenic shampoo and rinse thoroughly, to remove the chemical from the animal’s coat and skin.  Wash all of your pets bedding, toys and anything else that your pet lies on with an all natural washing machine cleaner.  Consider the detergent used for babies.

IMGP0107 300x225 Pets Allergies Are Worse Than Ever

Hives usually respond well to an antihistamine such as Benadryl. Cortisone may be needed to control a severe case. Consult your veterinarian. Some of these animal allergies can be controlled by ensuring that you give your pet’s food in a clean bowl and provide regular cleaning of their kennel. One of the major causes for allergic reactions is fleas and mites.

Giving your pets a multi vitamins will boost their immune system and help in fighting any infection that they may encounter, from skin irritants and excessive scratching.

By Jennifer Fiorentino

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