Allergy Treatment for Pets in Long Beach, CA
Many pet owners don’t realize that pets experience allergies much like people do. Allergies can be frustrating for pets and owners alike. At Bixby Animal Clinic, we help pets to deal with a variety of allergies through careful diagnosis and compassionate care.
If you are concerned that your pet may have allergies, call our Long Beach clinic for an appointment today.
Common Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
Allergies in pets tend to show more often in dermal symptoms rather than respiratory. Your pet may develop red, itchy patches of skin, especially around the ears, back or paws. They will frequently scratch, lick or chew on the affected area. Sneezing and watery eyes may also occur. Contact the vet immediately if you notice swelling in the paws or eyelids, scabbed or bleeding skin, or vomiting.
Diagnosis of Allergies in Pets
Diagnosis is generally found with one of two tests, depending on symptoms and other factors.
Skin Allergy Panel – Typically performed with sedation. The veterinarian shaves a small section of hair and draws a grid directly onto the skin. In each square, the vet exposes the skin to common allergens with control variables, then marks the reaction to determine which allergen is affecting your pet.
Food Trials – This process involves trying different food varieties to eliminate potential food allergies. The vet will explain various food options you may try, such as different proteins (beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, vegetarian), and different quality (organic, grain-free, no by-product, gluten-free, etc.). Trial periods last around 6 weeks for each type, and require close observation to gauge whether symptoms persist or are alleviated.
How Allergies in Pets are Treated
Various treatments may be used in caring for allergic pets. Regular bathing with a hypoallergenic (such as oatmeal-based) shampoo can reduce itching and remove allergens from the fur. (Pets should not be bathed more than once every two weeks unless directed by the vet.)
The vet may also recommend a hydrocortisone cream to apply to itchy skin, or over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl. Both should be used only under vet supervision to avoid overdose or other complications.
What Causes Allergies in Pets?
Like humans, allergies in pets are caused by the immune system’s hyperreaction to certain stimuli. Pets typically begin to show signs of allergies around 1-4 years old. Common allergens for pets include:
- Pollen (grass/tree/weeds)
- Cigarette smoke
- Cleaning products
- Prescription medication
- Food ingredients
Compassionate Veterinary Care in Long Beach
Bixby Animal Clinic is dedicated to bettering the lives of pets. Our talented vets and staff will treat you and your pet with patience and compassion. Call our Long Beach veterinarian office to make an appointment today.