Allergies & Dermatology
Like people, pets can suffer from allergies. Allergies might sometimes present themselves in cats and dogs with the sneezing and watery eyes that humans experience, but they much more frequently present themselves in the form of skin or digestive problems.
At Sage Creek Animal Hospital, our veterinarians are knowledgeable in many aspects of dermatology including food and environmental allergies. When the need arises we’re pleased to work with veterinary dermatologists to help our most complex allergy and dermatology patients find relief.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
What Causes Allergies in Pets?
Allergies occur when the body mistakes a harmless substance called an allergen for a potentially dangerous intruder (like viruses or bacteria). As a result, the body’s immune system attacks the allergen, creating the haywire immune response we call allergies.
Pets experience different types of allergies including allergies to fleas, certain proteins in foods, and allergens in the environment like pollen, dust, dust mites, smoke, or perfume.
Diagnosing Allergies in Pets
Depending on the situation, diagnosing allergies in pets can be a fairly lengthy process. It will begin with our veterinarian talking with you about your pet’s symptoms. We’ll ask questions to determine whether you have noticed any patterns with your pet’s symptoms such as seasonal occurrence (which would suggest an environmental allergen like pollen) or association with changes in your pet’s diet or environment.
We will then likely recommend further diagnostic testing which we mostly perform in-house. These tests might include skin allergy testing or cytology (testing of parasites, bacteria, or fungi). The diagnostic process might also include putting your pet on an elimination diet and/or making adjustments to your pet’s environment to rule out potential environmental allergens.
Relief From Pet Allergies With Our Winnipeg Veterinarians
Until we are able to identify your pet’s specific allergens, we can help your pet find some relief from their itchy, inflamed skin with a variety of treatments.
We’ll administer antibiotics and/or antifungals to help address any bacterial or fungal infections that might have developed as a result of scratching and irritation. Additional treatments might include medicated baths, topical sprays, the administration of antihistamines, anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids, and/or immune suppressants to reduce the allergy-related immune response that’s causing your pet so much discomfort.
If your pet’s scratching keeps you up at night or you notice any other symptoms of allergies, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian at Sage Creek Animal Hospital to start the diagnostic process right away.