Veterinary Services in Libertyville, IL
Allergies can be just as frustrating to pets as they are to people. Learn more about pet allergies and how to treat them below!
Finding Relief for Cat & Dog Allergies
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 in Libertyville, IL, 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.)
Diagnosing & Treating Allergies
To diagnose allergies, we will run blood work and some skin tests to rule out any other issues 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. Your veterinarian must give the injection, 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 we’ll have to take a different approach for a food allergy. 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 Nextmune diagnostics. This is a blood test to assist us in determining what allergens your pet is reactive to. With that information, Nextmune will develop allergy injections or sublingual drops that you will administer 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 intradermal 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.