Finding Relief for Cat & Dog Allergies in Libertyville, IL
Allergies are pretty common in our dogs and cats, and they can be caused by many of the same allergens that affect us! Yet, while we develop sneezes and other respiratory issues, cats and dogs usually develop skin conditions. Itchy irritated skin is a common symptom of cat and dog allergies, and it can cause them to scratch themselves raw! At GreenTree Animal Hospital, we have the experience and the treatments to reduce the itch and help your pet feel good in their own skin again!
Symptoms & Causes of Cat & Dog Allergies
Allergy symptoms in dogs and cats often cause one or more of the following:
- Itchy, irritated skin that results in excessive scratching
- Licking and chewing at their skin, especially the paws and belly
- Hair loss (alopecia) in certain areas
- Hot spots
- Frequent ear infections
- An odor from the skin
- Vomiting/diarrhea (in the case of food allergies)
These symptoms develop from contact with a substance that elicits an over-active immune response from your pet. Common allergens that affect cats and dogs include:
- Flower, tree, and grass pollen
- Mold and mold spores
- Dust and dust mites
- Flea bites
- Synthetic fibers
- Certain cleaning supplies
- Food ingredients (pork, beef, eggs, poultry, dairy, etc.)
- And more
Diagnosing & Treating Allergies
To diagnose allergies, we will run blood work and some skin tests to first rule out any other issues that could be causing your pet’s symptoms. Once these other conditions are ruled out, we can begin treatment for allergies.
Common allergy treatment options include Cytopoint and Apoquel. Cytopoint is an injectable medication that helps control the itch at its source. The injection must be given by your veterinarian, and it lasts for up to 8 weeks. Apoquel, on the other hand, is a daily pill that controls the itch in a similar way to Cytopoint, however, its efficacy lasts only for a day. These medications only work for contact or inhalant allergens, yet for a food allergy, we’ll have to take a different approach. If we suspect a food allergy, we’ll put your pet on an elimination diet and slowly add in ingredients one by one to determine which causes your pet’s reaction.
We also offer allergy testing through Spectrum diagnostics. This is a blood test to assist us in determining what allergens your pet is reactive to. With that information, Spectrum will develop allergy injections or sublingual drops that will be administered by you at home to help desensitize your pet .
Depending on the severity of your pet’s condition, we may recommend and refer some patients to a board-certified dermatologist who can perform interdermal testing (similar to a human allergist) to determine the next steps for treatment.
No matter the cause of your pet’s itch, we will work with you to determine which treatment option works best for your pet.