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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

What Are the Signs of Pet Allergies?

The signs of pet allergies can be incredibly subtle and they can be mistaken for other skin disorders. Whatever the case may be, a veterinary dermatologist can help you get to the bottom of certain signs.

A Wide Range

At the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic we are dedicated to helping pets cope with allergies, but we also have experience with various conditions like skin cancer, infections, rashes, parasites, tumors, and hair loss (among others). Problems that affect the skin and ears commonly motivate owners to seek help, but fully understanding pet allergies and other skin conditions can be difficult without extensive dermatology training.

Itchy & Scratchy

Common causes of itchy skin in pets include parasites, infection, and allergies. Symptoms aren’t always identified easily, which can result in serious health ramifications. If you suspect your pet is suffering, or you see the following signs of pet allergies, please let us know:

  • Excessive grooming, licking, or chewing
  • Visible skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss

Examining the Common Culprits

Flea bite dermatitis causes hypersensitive reactions in many pets. An exaggerated reaction to flea saliva results in inflammation, rash, and itchy skin. Left alone, these signs of pet allergies can lead to hotspots, hair loss, scabs, and scarring. Fortunately, treatment with the right medication can safely reduce the signs of pet allergies caused by fleas.

Environmental and Food Allergies

Signs of pet allergies caused by environmental factors typically include severe skin irritation and itching. Pollen, insect stings, mold, grass, and more are common in the spring, but the indoor environment can expose pets to irritating cleaning chemicals, personal products, and aerosols, as well as other common allergens like house dust mites and human dander.

Food allergies caused by animal protein and rarely carbohydrates can lead to GI upset and itching. Eliminating certain ingredients from the diet and keeping track of any changes in behavior are essential defenses.

Signs of Pet Allergies and Testing

Signs of pet allergies should be examined and addressed by an experienced veterinary dermatologist. Skin allergy prick testing, or intradermal skin testing, involves the injection of small amounts of suspected triggers directly into the superficial skin layers. This test does not cause your pet any discomfort, as it’s completed after a light sedative is administered. This is the most reliable and accurate protocol to identify and treat the signs of pet allergies. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, we can develop a treatment plan that reduces symptoms via desensitization (allergy shots).

If you ever have any doubt about the signs of pet allergies, or need more information about allergy testing, we encourage you to contact us. Our veterinarians are always here for your pet.