Allergies and Your Fur Babies

Are you familiar with the different types of allergies that can affect your fur baby?  In this blog we’ll go through a few different categories to help you identify some potential causes that are making your kitty or pup uncomfortable in their own skin.

Orange cat with allergies scratching his ear
Food Allergies

Food allergies aren’t very common and as such they can be somewhat difficult to identify.  Generally, you can expect to see gastrointestinal problems as a result of a food allergy.  The most likely cause of food allergies is the source of protein in the food.  While working with your vet, you’ll observe your fur baby’s digestive process as you work your way through different diets changing the protein source.  Your vet will recommend at least a 6-8 week trial on a given protein to document any concerns.

Contact Allergies

If you let your fur baby outside there is always a risk that that they come into contact with poison ivy.  This is the easiest way to think of a “contact allergy.”  A contact allergy can cause skin irritation, inflammation, itching, and/or a rash.  Some other sources include reactions to flea/tick ointments or bathing products.  If this type of allergy occurs, do your best to identify new products that you’ve introduced or new areas you’ve visited so that you can avoid these going forward.

Flea Allergies

A flea allergy is not the same as the typical itching from a fleabite.  Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is actually the most common skin disease in dogs.  Look for a rash and raw or irritated skin.  Hair loss can occur from your fur baby biting and chewing their itchy skin.  If this leads to open sores a secondary infection can occur.  Prevention is always your safest bet so don’t forget your regular flea treatment schedule.

Inhalant Allergies

Inhaled allergies are often overlooked when it comes to cats and dogs.  Just like in humans, pollen, mold, dust mites, and other irritants can be a trigger for your fur baby.  While it may cause you itchy eyes and to sneeze, inhaled allergies generally cause skin irritation and itchiness in your fur baby.  If you’ve ruled out fleas, and the itching appears to be seasonal, inhaled allergens are likely the cause.

Does your fur baby have allergies?  What type?  How are you treating the allergy?

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