It’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep. Your dog is keeping you awake with their constant scratching and licking. Pets, like their humans, can suffer from allergies. Dog and cat allergies can be tricky to diagnose, but the most common sign is itching. Human allergy symptoms usually involve a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Pet allergies look a lot different and include symptoms like excessive licking, chewing, scratching, head shaking, ear infections, skin infection or rash, and/or anal gland issues.
Flea allergy dermatitis or flea bite sensitivity is the most common allergy in dogs and a major cause of skin issues in cats. Dogs that are allergic to flea bites often will develop hair loss on their back and rear legs, redness of the skin, rash, and moderate to intense itching. The severity of the reaction can vary based on how allergic the dog is to flea bites. Cats will itch, develop scabs around their neck, face, and down their backs, and can have areas of hair loss. Flea bite allergies are easily managed with good flea prevention and control.
Your pet may be allergic to something in their environment. Dust mites, pollen, certain plants or trees, or even items in your home may cause them to react. Sometimes their allergies are worse in certain seasons. Other times it may be related to a household furnishing or even another animal. If an environmental allergy is suspected, your veterinarian will likely begin by asking a lot of questions. Are the symptoms worse during a particular time of year or season? How does your dog react? Have you remodeled your house, replaced your carpet, given your dog a new blanket, chemically treated your lawn, or planted new bushes? Looking for patterns can help your veterinarian figure out if environmental allergies are the cause of your pet’s symptoms.
Food allergies are not as common in pets but do occur. Food allergies are triggered by proteins in your pet’s diet. These proteins can be meat or plant-based. If your veterinarian suspects a food allergy, they will likely suggest altering your pet’s diet. Veterinarians usually start with the most common food allergens and work over a several-week elimination program in the effort to isolate the food or foods your pet is allergic to. A typical food allergy diet trial is 8-12 weeks of just the recommended diet – either a novel protein/limited ingredient diet or a hypoallergenic prescription diet. There are a variety of diets available for specific allergies for pets now. Your veterinarian will ensure that whichever is chosen for your pet not only addresses the allergy but is also nutritionally sound and appropriate for their individual needs.
When you take your pet to the veterinarian, they will likely begin by checking for the most common causes of the itching and scratching – fleas, mites and infections. These cases are usually easy to resolve with proper treatment. If your veterinarian feels that your pet is suffering from an allergy, they will recommend treatment and discuss options for further diagnosing and managing your pet’s allergies. Allergy testing is a great way to help diagnose what your pet is allergic to. It involves sending a small amount of blood to the lab and can test for environmental and food allergies. This information can help you and your veterinarian confirm what your pet is allergic to, pick the best diet if food allergies are involved, and formulate the best plan to manage your pet’s allergies. Some pets can be managed on medication, while others with more severe allergies may benefit from immunotherapy or allergy shots to desensitize their immune system to what they are allergic to. When an appropriate treatment plan is in place, there is a huge sense of relief shared by both you and your pet.
Prevention is key to supporting your pet’s ongoing health. We devise an individualized strategy to keep your pet healthy and happy.
We perform standard and specialized surgeries to address your pet’s health concerns, including spays, tumor removal, orthopedic surgeries, and more.
Vaccinations are an important part of preventing communicative diseases. Keep your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations right at our office.
Dental health is essential to your pet’s overall wellness. Our dental services cover all of your pet’s oral health needs, from tooth extraction to cleaning.
Year-round heartworm prevention is key to keeping your pet healthy. We provide FDA-approved treatments to prevent infection.
Fleas and ticks aren’t just a nuisance: they pose a serious threat to your pet’s health. Protect your pet with preventative medicine.
Pocket pets have unique health needs. Our team addresses your pet’s health issues and develops a strategy, so they feel like their energetic self.
We provide comprehensive reproductive care for pets, including artificial insemination, neonatal care, fertility exams, and more.
Rely on us when your pet needs urgent care. We know emergencies are stressful, so we treat urgent health concerns with the utmost care.
Managing your pet’s medical needs is easy when you use our online pharmacy. Renew your pet’s prescription and purchase FDA-approved medication right from the comfort of your home. If you have any questions, contact us to speak with a trusted veterinarian.
The great people at Blue Lake Animal Hospital have always and continue to go above my expectations for vet care. I have a rabbit who needed an amputation & Dr. Will along with all the other staff have been fantastic in making sure bun & I were taken…
The staff and Drs here are the best. They give the best care to my cats and always take the time to explain things to me.
They're the best! Always caring and compassionate. They cared for our dog Mannie for over 17 years. We lost him 3 weeks ago and they were so attentive to our loss and helped us through that difficult time. When we do decide to get another dog we will…
Loved our visit here with 2 litters of puppies! Excited to be switching to them with our other dogs, very sincere and not rushed, just truly genuine compassionate people! Highly recommend!
We brought my girlfriends cat in for urinary issues. They did an excellent job working with my not so nice cat. They were able to check his urine for infection in their lab during his appointment and even showed me pictures of the crystals in his urine. Everyone…
Awesome and quick service. Friendly staff.
Very friendly and helpful.
If I get the same care for my pet, and the same treatment in the future, as I received on my first visit, I can see no reason to ever go any other place.
Great atmosphere, quick appointments, great service!
I have been taking my precious animals here for years. I would not go anywhere else. The care that our animals have received is the BEST. The staff is wonderful and caring, and the best part is that you know that they are interested in and really care…