Has your pet been scratching themselves a lot lately? Have you noticed any abnormalities on their skin/coat, such as red spots, dandruff, or hair loss? If so, your pet may have an allergy. Pets can have allergies just like people can, but for pets, these conditions commonly manifest on the skin and coat. Without treatment, allergies can leave a pet in a great deal of discomfort—even pain. Of course, that’s the last thing we want for your four-legged friend, which is why we’re pleased to offer pet allergy testing and treatment in North Liberty at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Care Center.
What Exactly IS an Allergy?
An allergy is the body’s exaggerated reaction to a certain substance, or allergen, that is typically harmless and has no effect on other animals. Allergens can affect pets by ingestion (food), by inhalation (agents in the air, such as pollen), or by touch (grass, fleas, etc.). When a pet has an allergy to a certain substance, it can respond in a number of ways, including:
- Excessive itching/scratching, especially legs, paws, muzzle, and ears
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Repetitive sneezing
- Red or scabbed skin
- Excessive licking or biting of paws
- Shaking of head from inflamed ears
- Itchy anal glands
- Excessive shedding
- Dull hair coat
How We Test & Treat Allergies in Pets
Our facility is equipped with modern diagnostic equipment and tools to test for pet allergies. The diagnostic process first involves speaking with you to discuss your pet’s symptoms. Then, if necessary, we may recommend a blood test, intradermal skin test, skin culture, and other related laboratory tests. We may also recommend a food trial, since food allergies are one of the most common types of allergies seen in pets. Once we find the cause for your pet’s allergy, we can develop a short- or long-term treatment plan, which may include:
- Topical therapy
- Desensitization treatment
If you think your pet may have an allergy, schedule an allergy consultation in North Liberty here at Animal Kingdom Veterinary Center by calling 319-626-2999. Our veterinarians can help alleviate the discomfort so your companion can get back to his/her old self in no time!