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How Your Colorado Springs Veterinarians Can Help with Pet Allergies
At any animal hospital, it is common to see pets with allergies. Just like with people, these can be environmental or food-related. In general, a dog with allergies will be itchy and miserable. A cat with allergies will usually behave similarly. Food intolerances, frequently lumped in with allergies, may cause constant gastrointestinal distress.
Common Types of Pet Allergies
Dog food allergies are relatively common. However, they can be hard to pin down because of the variety of ingredients in dog foods and any treats your pet may be getting. Cat food allergies can be even more complicated if your cat is allowed outdoors unsupervised, because you may not know what he or she has been eating.
Environmental allergies are also common. Examples of environmental allergens include:
- Cigarette smoke
Some allergies are more common than others, but like humans, dogs and cats can be allergic to just about anything.
Treatment Methods for Food Allergies
Treating your dog or cat with allergies can greatly improve their life. If your veterinarian suspects dog or cat food allergies or intolerance, he or she might want to try an elimination diet. This is a very strict diet with hypoallergenic food that should not cause an allergic reaction. During the trial, your dog or cat must eat nothing but the prescribed food. If your pet's symptoms disappear, it is likely that they have food allergies.
If food allergies are severe, your veterinarian may provide immediate relief for your pet with medication. Long-term treatment for cat and dog food allergies is usually to gradually re-introduce foods into your pet's diet and see which ones cause a reaction. Once you know what your pet is allergic to, treatment pretty much consists of making sure he or she doesn't eat those foods.
Treatment Methods for Environmental Allergies
Treating your cat or dog with allergies for environmental triggers is a little trickier. Allergy testing is sometimes done to see if a particular allergen is triggering your pet. Allergy shots that help reduce the severity of the condition can be used in some cases.
Some allergens are relatively easy to avoid. Unfortunately, others are not. Regular baths and post-walk wipe-downs can help some dogs and cats who are allergic to things found in the outdoors.
If the allergy is seasonal, your pet might be prescribed a short course of medication such as steroids. There are also medications that can be taken long-term, but they can be expensive and may have side effects. Your vet will be able to advise you about the costs and benefits of each type of treatment.
How Our Veterinarians near Colorado Springs Can Help
Because common allergens can be regional, vets near Colorado Springs will have the best knowledge about local issues. Centennial Animal Hospital, your veterinarian near Colorado Springs, can help you get your pet feeling better today. Allergies are no fun, so call to make an appointment at 719-528-1693 and start providing relief.