Managing Cat and Dog Allergies in Raleigh, NC
Is your pet scratching themselves more than usual? An overly itchy dog or cat usually suggests an allergic pet! In Raleigh, NC, cat and dog allergies are pretty common. Our pets can be allergic to many of the same things we are, including flower, grass, and tree pollens, molds, dust and dust mites, food ingredients, and more. Yet, unlike us, their allergic reactions often result in skin conditions rather than respiratory problems. As a pet parent, allergies can be frustrating, but at Companion Animal Hospital of Wakefield, our pet dermatology services can help relieve your pet’s itch so they can get back to being their playful, loveable, and best selves.
Identifying Your Pet's Allergies
Cat and dog allergies commonly affect your pet’s skin, but they can cause other symptoms as well. It often depends on the type of allergen, which can be inhalant, contact, or a food ingredient. The following signs could mean your pet has an allergy:
- Scratching excessively
- Red, irritated skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Licking their paws
- Excessive grooming
- Frequent ear infections
- Runny nose/eyes
- Vomiting/diarrhea (indicative of a food allergy)
If your pet exhibits any of the following signs, it’s worth a trip to the vet! We’ll perform some diagnostic tests in order to rule out any underlying diseases. Additionally, we can send your pet’s blood sample to an outside lab for allergy testing. The results of this test can tell us the exact allergen your pet reacts to.
Options for Managing Your Pet's Allergies
Our veterinarians will work closely with you to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that can effectively control your pet’s allergies. Please keep in mind that since each pet is unique, it may take some trial and error to determine the right treatment for them.
Some of our common allergy medicines for dogs and cats and other treatments include:
- Immunotherapy injection (allergy shot) that desensitizes your pet to the allergen. An allergy blood test is required for this treatment.
- Cytopoint, an injection for dogs that relieves the itch for 4-6 weeks
- Apoquel, a daily tablet for dogs
- Atopica, a daily tablet for dogs, and oral solution for cats
- Prescription hypoallergenic diets
- Medicated shampoos and topical creams
- Antifungals to fight secondary fungal infections (from excessive itching and a broken skin barrier)
- Antibiotics to fight secondary bacterial infections (caused by infected wounds from itching)