Pet Allergies and How
They Affect Your Pet

You’re not the only one with allergic reactions. Your pet can get them, too! From sinus infections to digestive issues and skin rashes, allergic reactions can give your pet as much discomfort as the same reactions give to you. At Santa Monica Pet Medical Center, we’ll focus on identifying your pet’s particular allergy so we can treat it right.

Signs of Allergic Reactions

Pet allergies can be hard to diagnose, since many of the symptoms are similar to those of other serious conditions. To confirm the culprit is indeed an allergy, and not some other pet dermatology issue, we use laboratory testing, including skin scraping and cytology. As always, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet for any major changes in behavior or noticeable symptoms. Signs of allergies can include:

  • Irritated skin with severe itching
  • Runny eyes or nose
  • Itchy ears or increased ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Constant licking
  • Swollen paws

Keep in mind that dogs and cats can develop allergies at any time in their life, so being aware of these signs can help speed up the treatment process.

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Allergy Testing and Treatments

If you suspect your pet might be suffering from airborne or foodborne allergies, our allergy testing can help determine the cause. We typically take skin scrapings and analyze your pet’s skin cells to rule out other pet dermatology conditions such as bacterial or fungal infections. Common allergens include pollens, mold spores, dust mites, and insect bites, with fleas being a main culprit.

To treat allergic reactions as well as other pet dermatology issues, we offer a range of treatment options to make your pet comfortable in their own skin again:

  • Medication trials such as anti-histamines or corticosteroids.
  • Specialty diets for food allergies that help determine what food is causing the reaction.
  • Medicated shampoos and topicals to remove allergens from hair and soothe irritated skin.
  • In severe cases, we’ll refer your pet out to a specialist to receive the best care.

Reduce the Risk: At Home Allergy Care

For many allergies, prevention is the best medicine. Remove allergens from the environment by cleaning your pet’s bedding (and vacuum your rugs while you’re at it) to reduce dust and pollen brought in from outdoors. A flea prevention program can also be implemented to eliminate fleas in your home. Once food allergies are identified, you’ll need to provide your pet with a specific, possibly home-cooked diet. But for your pet’s health and safety, it’s all worth it. Call today to learn more about allergy testing and treatments!

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