Warmer months in Winnipeg, MB, brings sunshine and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. Unfortunately, it also heralds allergy season. People across the country are bracing for the onset of itchy skin, stuffy noses, and red eyes. However, humans aren’t the only ones who may suffer from allergies. Your dog or cat can get allergies too. Pet allergies are a common complaint that we treat at Henderson Animal Hospital.
What Are Allergies?
Animals’ immune systems attack foreign substances that could be harmful. However, sometimes the immune system gets it wrong and takes action against something that shouldn’t be a trigger. It attacks a harmless substance, causing an allergic reaction.
What are the Signs of Pet Allergies?
Many of the signs are ones that you may be familiar with from your own or your friends’ allergies. These include:
- reddened, watery eyes
- a running nose
- wheezing and congestion
- red, swollen skin on the face or ears
- flaky skin
Other signs that are more specific to cats and dogs are:
- patchy fur loss
- secretions from the eyes
- licking paws, anus, or genitals
- gnawing or scratching on the paws
- shaking the head
- scratching the ears
- unpleasant smelling and dirty looking ears
If left untreated, pet allergies can worsen over time. Your dog or cat may become very uncomfortable. If your pet keeps scratching, they could break the skin and get an infection. These symptoms can also mask other health complications. That’s why it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing these allergies.
What Can Pets Be Allergic To?
Pets can react to outdoor allergens, indoor allergens, and foods. If your dog or cat goes outdoors, they may struggle with the same allergy triggers that you do: pollen, dust, and mold. Meanwhile, indoors-only pets can also get allergies due to things like dust in the air, the detergent you wash their bedding in, room fresheners, or flea bites.
Finally, pets can be allergic to what they eat. If you’ve switched to a new food recently, this may be causing a reaction. If your pet is eating the same kibble they’ve always had, perhaps the manufacturer has changed the main ingredients. It’s also possible for an animal to become allergic to an ingredient over time. Your veterinarian can help you identify the problematic product.
Your Veterinarian Can Help You Defeat Pet Allergies
Is your cat or dog suffering from some of the symptoms we’ve listed? Our team at Henderson Animal Hospital in Winnipeg, MB, can help you find the right combination of environmental changes and allergy medication. Call us today at (204) 339-9295 to schedule a checkup for your furry friend.