May: Pet Allergy Awareness Month

During the month of May, we focus our pet parent education on pet allergies.

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.

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