Pet Allergies

Both dogs and cats can suffer from allergies. While people generally display the signs of rhinitis and conjunctivitis (sneezing, runny nose and eyes), our companion animals present with skin problems in addition to sneezing and runny eyes. The sign common to allergic dermatitis no matter the cause, is itching.  Dogs and cats can have a somewhat different appearance during an allergy attack but they will both itch.  A common complication of allergies is the occurrence of secondary infections with both bacteria as well as yeast. These infections will need to be treated in order to have a resolution of signs. Allergens can be seasonal to things such as pollens, trees, weeds, etc., or can be year-round in some cases, such as with food allergies. Indeed, it can take months to classify the cause of the allergies in some cases. The diagnostic tests and treatments are based on a combination of the history, physical examination findings, response to past treatments, and owner/veterinarian preference. Each individual can present differently, and therefore may require a different approach than others with similar signs.