Allergies in Cats and Dogs

In: Advice Sheets On: Monday, October 10, 2016

 

There are primarily two types of allergies: food allergies and environmental allergies. If your pet gets itchy during spring, summer or fall, she's probably reacting to seasonal, environmental allergens. But if her symptoms continue year-round, it's more likely her sensitivity is to something in her diet.

There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, however. If you live in an area that doesn't have a hard freeze in the winter, environmental allergens can build up and cause year-round issues for your pet. In addition, seasonal allergies can progress to year-round allergies.

 

Signs your pet has seasonal allergies

Unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, dog allergies and cat allergies more often take the form of skin irritation or inflammation – a condition called allergic dermatitis.

If your pet has allergies, her skin will become very itchy. She'll start scratching excessively, and might bite or chew at certain areas of her body. She may rub herself against vertical surfaces like furniture, or she may rub her face against the carpet. She's trying to relieve the miserable itchiness by any means possible.

As the itch-scratch cycle continues, her skin will become inflamed and tender to the touch. Other signs of allergic dermatitis include areas of hair loss, open sores on the skin, and scabbing.

  

Other signs to watch for

Pets with allergies also often have problems with their ears – especially dogs. The ear canals may be itchy and inflamed as part of a generalised allergic response, or they may grow infected with yeast or bacteria.

Signs your pet's ears are giving him problems include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and hair loss around the ears. If infection is present there will often be odour and a discharge from the ears.

While respiratory symptoms aren't common in pets with allergies, they do occur. A running nose, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing are typical allergic symptoms in both two- and four-legged allergy sufferers.

Animals with weaknesses in their lung fields can develop sinusitis and bronchitis, just as people do.

Another sign to watch for if you suspect your pet has allergies is generalised redness. Allergic pets often have puffy red eyes, red oral tissue, a red chin, red paws and even a red anus.

 

How seasonal allergies can turn into year-round allergies

Allergic reactions are produced by your pet's immune system, and the way his immune system functions is a result of both nature (his genetics) and nurture (his environment).

The more your pet is exposed to the allergens he's sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting his allergic response becomes.

 

Helping a pet with seasonal allergies

 - Frequent baths give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet and wash away the allergens on the coat and skin. Make sure to use a grain free (oatmeal free) shampoo.
 - Foot soaks are also a great way to reduce the amount of allergens your pet tracks into the house and spreads all over her indoor environment.
 - Keep the areas of your home where your pet spends most of her time as allergen-free as possible. Vacuum and clean floors and pet bedding frequently using simple, non-toxic cleaning agents rather than household cleaners containing chemicals.
 - Because allergies are an immune system response, it's important to keep your pet's immune function optimal. This means avoiding unnecessary vaccinations and drugs. Vaccines stimulate the immune system, which is the last thing your pet with seasonal environmental allergies needs. 
 - If you haven't already, move your pet to an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that create or worsen inflammation are high in carbohydrates. Your allergic pet's diet should be very low in grain content. 

 

Allergy-fighting supplements

At Phyto Companion we have developed some useful treatments:

Phyto anti-Allergy: a complex of plants designed to prevent and heal all allergies. Provides deep cleaning of the tissues, eliminates toxins, and strengthens defences to better fight against external factors and to boost the immune system.

Phyto Derm:  innovative and very efficient gel to fight against dog and cat localised skin conditions. 

Phyto anti-Itch: for any skin problems of your animal: dermatitis, eczema, skin allergies, inflammation, skin peeling, dandruff... 

 

Many holistic vets believe that itching is an indication that the physical condition of your pet is not as good as it should be. To treat the itchy skin of your dog or cat, natural remedies and supplements should be used to tackle the problem in three ways:

 - Soothe the itch
 - Stimulate the immune system
 - Treat the underlying problem  

As you work with your vet to determine the exact cause of itching, there are solutions for you at home to relieve the itching of your pet and stimulate the immune system.

 

Make Your Pet Healthier and Happier!

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