Pet Allergy

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pet-allergyIs it possible for my pet to suddenly develop a allergy?

Best answer:

Yes, any pet whether a dog, cat, rabbit or gerbil can develop an allergy to a substance found indoors or out. Indoor allergies are more common since just like their owners, they tend to spend more time indoors.

Cat Allergies

Allergies can be common in cats when their immune system “overreacts” to foreign substances (allergens or antigens) to which it is exposed. Cat allergies can manifest themselves in three ways.

  • Itching of the skin, either localized (one area) or generalized (all over the cat)
  • A respiratory system disorder which may result in coughing, sneezing and/or wheezing (can also include nasal or ocular (eye) discharge)
  • The third manifestation involves the digestive system which could result in vomiting or diarrhea

There are four common types of allergies that a cat can suffer from:

  1. Contact
  2. Flea
  3. Food
  4. Inhalant

Dog Allergies

Dogs will tend to have all of the same allergies as cats but seem to have more allergic symptoms which can affect the skin and ears.  A dogs primary allergy reaction is in their skin. Skin problems can range from:

  • Poor coat texture or length
  • Itching and chewing
  • hot spots

Allergies appear to also play a part in chronic dog related ear infections. We think it may be due to the fact that dogs spend more times outdoors where they can get organic matter, pollen and mold spores into their ears which can become infected according to humidity levels.

Other pet related allergies

Of course, just as humans, any other pet outside of fish can develop allergies from indoor pollutants. In fact, we have seen cases where some pets and their owners are experiencing some type of allergies due to indoor pollutants. When the owners take steps to improve their indoor air quality, then the allergy symptoms clear up for all of the indoor occupants including the pets.

Related Posts: Pet Allergies, Dander Allergy, Feline Allergy and Dog Allergies.

About the author: David Benson owns a popular pet shop and pet sitter service in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Flea Allergies

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fleas allergyThe spring and summer months – the revival of long dormant vibrant colors, the spicy smell of the flowers and the nasty flea that may be waiting to attack your pet. Fleas are blood sucking, parasitic little irritants which can may cause itchy, hair loss and flea allergy dermatitis (caused by hypersensitivity to flea saliva).  These little demons can create misery for your pet and humans if allowed to invade the home.

There are over 2200 species of fleas which can live for weeks or months on a host such as a pet. Fleas are attracted to the hosts by factors such as smell, body temperature, air currents and lack of lighting. Fleas can also cause tapeworms in dogs. Most flea infestation cases will occur in the summer, which is the peak of flea populations.  Usually, a flea diagnosis is made by visual inspection of the pet and is better performed on a large white towel so they can be spotted easily.  Parting the hair can reveal flea excrement or moving fleas. Flea excrement is brownish black and shaped like a small pellet.

Eliminating Fleas

Eliminating fleas can be a month long process that requires multiple treatment of your pet and their indoor and/or outdoor environments. Here are some additional tips for helping your pet get through their flea infestation:

  • Prevention of flea bites. Consider treatments which will prevent flea bites that are gentle on your pet skin.
  • Treatment of secondary skin infections. Antibiotics and antifungal drugs may be necessary to treat secondary skin infections triggered by a flea sensitivity.
  • Breaking the itch cycle. If your pet is itching regularly, then consider a short course of steroids. This may be necessary to break the itch cycle and make your pet more comfortable.
  • Frequent bathing. Bath your pet regularly with a gentle and soothing bathing product. There are natural products which contain essential oils such as lavender which is known to kill fleas.
  • Clean bedding and rugs frequently. Bedding, furniture, rugs and carpets should be cleaned regularly to help remove flea larvae. Frequent vacuuming and carpet cleaning can help remove eggs and larvae from the pet’s indoor environment.
  • Flea preventatives. If your pet has flea allergies, a topical adult flea preventive is preferred instead of an oral product. The goal is to kill adults before they bite and reduce the pet’s exposure to their saliva.
  • Groom frequently. Groom your pet regularly if their skin is NOT irritated with a “flea comb” to help remove fleas.

Once fleas have been identified, it is important that pet owners remove the fleas and their eggs from the animal’s environment. Keep in mind that the flea life cycle is up to 35 days which may require an additional treatment to kill the new fleas as their eggs hatch. Treatment includes the removal of all household animals from flea infestation areas to prevent the pet from becoming reinfested. There are many available products that will kill fleas both indoors and outdoors.Products should chosen according to the animal for which they will be used and show be mixed or used as directed by the manufacturer.

You must treat both the outdoor and indoor environment simultaneously to prevent them from reoccurring. If you use a pest control chemical outdoors, make sure you allow to fully dry before allowing the animal access to the area. If your pet is believed to have flea or other skin allergies, then consult with a veterinarian which can customize a flea control program to meet animals  individual needs.

Related Post: Feline Allergy, Dog Allergies and Dander Allergy.

About the author: Dr. Elliott is one of the leading natural pet healers in the US. He has formulated products for the Queen of England’s dogs and horses and is the author of the best selling natural healing book-”The Healthy Wholistic Dog” and writes articles for a major pet insurance company.

Flea Allergy