Addressing Pet Allergies
with Dermatology Services
Pet allergies are more common than you might think! They can often suffer from the same allergens as us, such as seasonal pollens, dust, and even food intolerances. When pets develop an allergy, its typical symptom presents as a skin condition. Pet dermatology addresses primarily allergies as well as other skin problems. At our animal hospitals in Merritt Island, Viera, and Cocoa Beach, we aim to not only relieve any skin irritation but treat the cause of it as well.
Common Pet Allergies
Pets can develop an allergy at any time during their lives, so any change in behavior, especially excessive scratching, chewing, or licking could indicate an allergy. Common pet allergies include:
- Pollens, dust, or mold spores
- Food allergies
- Cigarette smoke
- Some prescription drugs
- Cleaning products
- Rubber and plastic
- Pests and insects such as fleas
Diagnosing an Allergy
When we do blood tests for your pet, we can send the sample to a specialty lab for an allergy test. From there, we can determine which environmental factor is causing your pet’s reaction. If the test comes back inconclusive, it may be a food allergy, which cannot be diagnosed through the blood sample.
For food allergies, the only way to learn which ingredient is causing the allergy is to do diet trials where we eliminate all the potential allergens and add them back in slowly. Once your pet begins to experience symptoms again, we can identify the last ingredient given as the culprit. Keep in mind that it takes weeks on a clean diet and then many weeks more as ingredients are added back in, so food allergies are typically the toughest to diagnose!
Once we identify the allergen, we will begin a treatment plan that both relieves the current discomfort and addresses the issue at its source. Possible treatments for pet allergies include:
- Apoquel for atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory chronic skin disease
- Cytopoint, a new therapy for atopic dermatitis that targets the itch at its source
- Allergy injections to develop a resistance to the allergen
- Medicated topicals and shampoos that help relieve the itch and prevent skin infection
- Pest prevention if the allergen is an insect like fleas
- Other preventive measures such as keeping their bedding clean of dust, and bathing them more frequently to remove environmental allergens like pollen
Are you worried your pet may have an allergy? Get in touch today for a full pet dermatology assessment!