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Have you noticed that your pet is suddenly scratching incessantly, perhaps even to the point of having bald spots? It’s quite possible he or she is suffering from skin allergies, which are on the rise with pets just as they are with humans. So what can you do? Fort Garry Animal Hospital, your veterinarian in Winnipeg, has the experience to not only treat your itchy pet, but to also work with you to prevent those miserable symptoms from developing in the first place.
The way allergies work is like this: your pet’s immune system is exposed to a substance and then suddenly over-reacts to it after having develop antibodies from the previous exposures. The antigen, or offending substance, then causes the immune system to release histamines which are the ultimate culprit in making your pet miserable.
Itching that occurs on the ears, eyes, feet, toes and even groin and armpits is the main symptom of a skin allergy, but other signs include:
Red, swollen skin
Fleas are the number one cause of skin allergies in pets and other animals, and when they infest, it is absolute wretchedness for the pet. Not all pets are allergic to fleas, but when they are, they suffer from a condition called flea allergy dermatitis. Interestingly, it’s not the actual bite that causes the itching but rather, the fleas’ saliva.
Other triggers can range from food allergies, medicines, pollen, perfume, grass, tobacco, dust, mold, household cleaning supplies, and even the dander from other animals. Allergies to any of these substances can manifest with symptoms on the pet’s skin.
Although there is no magic solution for skin allergies, the good news is we can help alleviate your pet’s suffering. Our first priority is to treat the itching and skin distress. For a particularly bad situation, we’ll prescribe antihistamines and corticosteroids, both of which should produce immediate relief. Then we’ll help you determine the source of the skin allergy. If fleas are the trigger, there are topical products and soothing shampoos to use during an acute attack. Then give you advice on the best products to rid your home and yard of fleas as well as set up a preventative plan for the future.
It’s harder if the trigger isn’t evident, and then it becomes a case of removing your pet things from the environment one-by-one. In other words, don’t let your pet walk on grassy areas and see if you notice an improvement.
Your pet’s skin is his or her first line of health defense. When skin allergies take hold, not only is the pet miserable, secondary things, such as infection, can occur. Your veterinarian will do anything to keep pets from suffering, so please call us today for more information. Also, be sure to ask about our new client special.