May: Allergy Awareness Month

May is Allergy Awareness Month!

As Summer approaches, many individuals will start to feel their allergies showing up once again! The changing of the seasons is known to cause itching, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing; but did you know that your pet is also susceptible to allergic reactions? That is why during Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, we like to focus on your furry friends!

Island Animal Hospital wants to share some information with you this Allergy Awareness Month!

Food Allergy May be the Cause of an Itching Pet

An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder involving the immune system.  In other words, the body’s system responsible for fighting infection is triggered in response to something other than potential infection.  In the case of food, it can be a protein, carbohydrate, or food additive that triggers the response.

The most common symptoms of food allergy in pets include non-seasonal itching and recurrent skin and ear infections.  There are other conditions that can cause these symptoms such as atopy (environmental allergy), flea hypersensitivity, drug reactions, mites, dermatophytosis (ringworm), or behavioral disorders.  Your veterinarian will likely recommend testing to help rule in or rule out these conditions prior to testing for food allergy specifically. There can also be overlap among these conditions. For example, 20-30% of pets with food allergy also have environmental or flea allergy.

Interested in learning more about allergies and an itching pet? Click to Read the full article by Island Animal Hospital’s Very Own Dr. Ian Birkbeck!

Some Allergic Reactions, Such as Anaphylaxis, Require Immediate Medical Attention.

Allergic reactions can be hard to predict, and in some cases even more difficult to diagnose. While minor allergic reactions are common for household pets to experience, there is a potentially fatal and hard to identify form of an allergic reaction to remain aware of, called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is most commonly known as an extreme allergic reaction to a specific allergen. While minor allergic reactions are common, true anaphylaxis is rare. Because of the severity of reaction that occurs, it is important for pet parents to know the tell tale signs of anaphylaxis.

Click Here to Read About Maggie, an Island Animal Hospital Featured Pet Who Was Treated for Anaphylaxis

It’s Important to Always Remain Aware

As a pet owner, it is important to always be aware of your pet’s surroundings and what may or may not be harmful to them. Pets can have an allergic reaction to a variety of items, both in and out of the home. Keeping track of a shift in your pet’s behavior, and taking note of any strange activity is an important step in being prepared for an allergic reaction.

If you feel your pet may be suffering from an allergic reaction, please do not hesitate to seek medical attention.

Contact Information:

Island Animal Hospital on Cocoa Beach – (321) 783-6463

Island Animal Hospital at Viera – (321) 633-8387

Island Animal Hospital Merritt Island – (321) 453-2430

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