Tree pollen, ragweed, grass pollen, dust mites—these are just a few allergens that cause millions of pets grief every year. Like people, dogs and cats can be overly sensitive to certain foods, fabrics, chemicals, molds, fleas, and pollens. Unlike us, however, they develop extreme itching of the skin. As your pet scratches, licks, and chews at their skin to relieve the itch, they also damage their skin barrier, which becomes vulnerable to bacterial infections. Our animal hospital in Bowling Green, KY has the expertise and experience necessary to help dogs and cats live more comfortably and keep their allergies under control.
How to Tell if Your Dog or Cat has an Allergy
With the variety of allergens out there that could be making your pet miserable, it can take time to find the true culprit. Still, it isn’t difficult to see when your pet is uncomfortable, and knowing the visual signs could help them get the treatment they need sooner.
Contact our hospital right away if your dog or cat shows any of these signs:
- Scratching, licking, and chewing at their sides, legs, and between the toes
- Rubbing their face against the floor and furniture
- An unpleasant odor that seems to be coming from their skin and ears
- Over grooming (cats)
- Discharge from the eyes and nose
- Patches of skin where fur has been scratched/rubbed away
- Areas of skin that appear red and raw
Can My Cat or Dog’s Allergies be Cured?
Pet allergies cannot be cured for good, but Dr. Grimes and his team can give your pet lasting relief and help reduce the symptoms. Allergies can be managed effectively with proper treatment and direction. This is especially true if we can reduce, or prevent, your pet’s exposure to the allergen(s) responsible for their condition.
Pet Allergy Treatment Options
The steps for diagnosing and treating an allergy in your pet include:
We need to see your pet in person and examine them thoroughly so we can start gathering information about their condition.
If needed, we can order to have testing done for a more in-depth profile of your pet’s health. For allergy testing, we send our samples to external labs for detailed analysis.
A food trial might be the next step if we think your pet is suffering from a food allergy. It’s not uncommon for dogs and cats to become allergic to certain proteins, such as chicken, beef, pork, and eggs.
Medications & Antibiotics
To relieve your pet’s itching and provide healing for their damaged skin, we can offer anti-itch medication (this may include injectable, oral, and/or topical options). We also offer soothing shampoos, sprays, and wipes to help with itching. Antibiotics might also be necessary if your pet needs help overcoming an infection.
A plan to minimize allergen exposure
Depending on what your pet is allergic to, we’d like to try to reduce your pet’s exposure to that allergen if possible. This could greatly reduce the severity and frequency of their allergy.