Dr. Dog Cat and Dog Health Care and Pet Supplies
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Pet Allergies - Symptoms and Detection.

As with their owners, pets are subject to a variety of allergies caused by contact with the skin, digestion, or inhalation. The severity of allergies, which can be seasonal or year round, varies greatly. When your pet has an allergic reaction, it is an overreaction to a particular substance or allergen. Proper identification of the cause is necessary to determine proper treatment.

The most common symptom from an allergy is itching. Itching caused by contact, food, or inhaled allergens may be localized at spots or systemic covering the pet's entire body. Food allergies may also be exhibited as gastro or intestinal problems. This is generally a reaction to a specific ingredient in the pet's food or treat. Allergies causing respiratory problems are unusual, but generally more serious. These reactions are more common with cats. If your pet shows signs of having difficulty breathing, consult a vet immediately.

There are a variety of contact allergies initiated by skin contact with allergens from both outdoor and indoor sources. Active outdoor pets are more prone to contract allergies than less active or house pets. Fleas are a common source of contact allergies. Many pets react to the flea's saliva when bitten. Other common contact allergens to be aware of for outdoor pets include grasses, hay, plants, and trees. Toxins and chemicals provide another potential source for contact allergies for both outdoor and indoor pets. Additionally, pesticides, carpet cleaners, and other chemically based cleaning supplies may spark an allergic reaction in your pet as well.

Food allergies are generally due to ingredients in your pet's food or treats. Symptoms of food allergies include itching and/or noticeable digestive trouble. Preservatives and fillers, such as corn meal, are commonly the source of these allergies. However, a food allergy can be a reaction to almost any ingredient such as soy, wheat, yeast, or beef. A common food allergy for cats is from milk resulting in lactose intollerance. Although more common with cats, lactose intolerance can be found in dogs too. With inhalants, pollen is the most common type of allergen, but cigarette smoke, air fresheners, smog, or other airborne pollutants, can also be problematic.

Identifying the allergen is a critical part of treating your pet. Itching, scratching, biting and licking may all be associated with contact, food, or inhalant allergies. Thus, pinpointing the actual allergen may be a challenge. To further complicate the detection process, an animal may have more than one allergy at a time. The first step in determining your pet's allergy is to eliminate as many potential allergens as possible. This is done by restricting contact with chemical agents and feeding your pet a higher quality of diet, preferably homemade hypoallergenic food and treats.

Using a hypoallergenic shampoo may be helpful when treating your pet; especially for contact allergies. A flea and tick or insect repellent shampoo may also be beneficial. One way to help control inhalant allergies is to add Omega 3 fatty acids to your dog's diet (fish or olive oil). Vitamin A, E and Zinc supplements may also be helpful for inhalant allergies. Relieving your pet's itching is also an important part of treating an allergy. This is not only for your pet's comfort, but continual itching and scratching may cause an irritation to spread leading to a secondary infection. Use of ointments and lotions that help relieve the itching are often helpful. A cool bath may also help sooth your dog. Some subscribe to another option, which is to reduce your pet's stress level. Sometimes prescribing antihistamines, steroids such as cortisone, antibiotics, or allergy shots may be needed. Your vet can help determine the source of an allergy along with the appropriate medical treatment.

Allergy, Skin & Itch Products

OatNella Hypoallergenic Insect Repellent Shampoo

EucaLoba Hypoallergenic Medicated Shampoo

Bug N' Out Natural Insect Repellent



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