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The turmoil of finding out if your pet has allergies!

Have you ever listened to someone that says my dog/cat has allergies!! Has your vet ever suggested it to you? Well, they can be a real problem in day to day life.

Have, you ever not been able to put your finger on a problem and thought, the fact you even contemplated your pet is allergic to something was absurd.

Well, it is not, and various things can be giving your Dog/Cat unexplained symptoms.

Allergies are a reaction to a foreign substance by the bodies immune system, which is not only human but also makes pets suffer.

Many different allergens can cause a reaction in your pet from food, skin and environmental allergens and living in Dubai environmental and dust can be a large one.

These issues are not always easy to figure out. Plus symptoms that they show can easily be caused by something else entirely.

Here, is a look at some

Skin Allergies

Called allergic dermatitis this is the most common allergic reaction in dogs and there are three main causes.

  1. Food Allergies

  2. Environmental

  3. Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Food allergies and sensitivities can cause itchy skin. The most common places dogs with food allergies itch are their ears and their paws, and this may be accompanied by gastrointestinal (aka bad tummy ) symptoms.

Environmental Allergies are sensitivity to weather and outside environments, such as dust (handy in a sandy desert). Pollen and mould, mould not so much in our dry environment. However, these can occur seasonally in more humid times and you may notice that your dog/cat only starts to scratch/itch at certain times of the year. As with Food allergies, these can occur and most noticeably be seen around the ankles, muzzle, wrists, underarm, groin, around the eyes and between their toes.

Fleas Allergy Dermatitis

Yes, those horrid little itchy creatures that could not possibly be in your house! They do however live in grasses and can quite easily hop onto to your pet when you are out on walks.

These can make your dog/cat exceptionally itchy, in general, you may notice it more around the base of the tail and also the skin may become inflamed, so watch out for the tiny dirt left by fleas as a good indicator this could be the issue.

Food Allergies

True food allergies result in more of immune system reactions which can be shown in skin conditions ( hives, swelling and itchiness), Vomiting /or Diarrhea or a combination of both.

These can take a long time to evaluate and conquer.. for example, I had a Golden Retriever that was allergic to tuna, not that I fed him tuna. My kids would only eat tuna sandwiches for lunch, even a dribble that hit the floor from opening the can would set him off.. always the same 2-3 days of Vomiting and Diarrhoea. The good thing is you can work closely with your vet to try and figure out the cause and even the tiniest of things you wouldn’t have thought to set them off, could just be the culprit!

You think trying to figure out a humans allergies was difficult, don’t get me started, but if you have a super vet these can be resolved promptly and monthly buying sensitive tummy food can be a thing of the past!

Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs

If you have ever undergone allergy testing, then you know that diagnosing allergies is often complicated.

But first things first! The vet will rule out any other reasons for the symptoms. He may go straight to it is an allergy and propose to start allergy testing to determine the cause. Not always as easy or straight forward as if down to food allergies, it's going to be a process of elimination by trialling different diets over 12 weeks ( source of protein and carbohydrate.

Fleas are usually pretty straight forward if he/she has flea dirt.. treat with Flea medication repeat and triumph. If your dog's skin stops being inflamed and there is no more itching then you have won this round!

If your dog has a severe allergic reaction to anything, please make sure that you get them to a vet immediately as in one of our previous blogs we covered stings and insect bites, which can need emergency care and attention.

To go back over the above in a nutshell!!

What to look for

  • Itchiness

  • Hives

  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps

  • Red, inflamed skin

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Sneezing

  • Itchy ears

  • Chronic ear infections

  • Itchy, runny eyes

  • Constant licking


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