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Does Your Pet Have an Allergy?

01 October 2015

AUSTRALIA - As spring approaches, Pet Insurance Australia is aiming to raise awareness of pet allergies.

“Spring is firmly upon us, and as many humans deal with bouts of itchy eyes, and those dreaded uncontrollable sneezes,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says.

“The fact is many of our pets also begin to suffer at this time of year.”

To find out more about the types of allergies that affect our pets during this time of year, Pet Insurance Australia caught up with Dr Chris Papantonio from the Colyton Vet Hospital in NSW.

“Skin allergies in pets can be quite common especially over the spring and summer months,” Dr Papantonio says.

“Allergies can present themselves quite quickly and without appropriate treatment can cause severe reactions to your pet.”

Common symptoms of pet allergies include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Rashes
  • Paw chewing
  • Scratching
  • Persistent head shaking
  • Smelly ears
  • Head scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Excessively oily skin
  • Smelly skin

“If one or more of these symptoms are present it’s vital you seek veterinary treatment,” Crighton says.

“Pet allergies, particularly on the skin and ears, needs to be controlled so they do not escalate into other problems, such as infection.”

Dr Papantonio also advises seeking help to avoid future outbreaks while also doing some detective work to discover what could be the main cause for the allergy.

“Avoiding the allergens is they key, but the problem is trying to work out what your pet is allergic to,” Dr Papantonio says. “Pet owners should also ensure their parasite control is up to date to rule that out as a cause.”

Also consider avoiding or removing plants in the garden that your animal seems to have a reaction to and consider putting your pet on a hypoallergenic food trial, if your pet has a food allergy.

“There are many treatment options for dogs and cats suffering from allergy problems,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “Some can control and treat symptoms and your local veterinarian can help with what program and treatment options are best for your pet.”

“There are a number of medications that can be used to treat allergies and control symptoms,” Dr. Papantonio says. “Some are safer to use than others. There are also hypoallergenic diets and supplements such as omega 3 + 6 fatty oils that can be given to help control the symptoms of allergies.”

Allergy testing and de-sensitisation programs can also be an option for pets suffering from chronic allergy issues. These programs can actually reduce the need for long-term medications.

“These types of programs can take 6 - 12 months to take effect,” Dr Papantonio says. “However, clients need to realise they are not necessarily a cure to your pets allergy but can assist in controlling their allergies.”

Content via Pet Insurance Australia - petinsuranceaustralia.com.au

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