Allergies in both humans and pets can be miserable, but with pets they are not always easy to diagnose and treat. All dogs and cats can get allergies and the most common reaction is scratching. Allergies are very frustrating for veterinarians to find as well as for the pets themselves and their owners. They are hard to find and the procedures to find them are complex.
This is because allergies can usually only be found by exclusion. This takes a lot of time and money and only the most dedicated owners are willing to go the distance in finding what the allergy might be. People and pets can actually cause each other allergy problems. People can be allergic to pet hair or dander, and pets can be allergic to many of the household or personal products that humans use.
There are four kinds of pet allergies. The first one is airborne which includes tree, grass, and weed pollen, then these is mold, mildew and dust motes. Second are fleas, then comes food allergies and finally contact allergies, for example carpeting or detergent. The most common pet allergy comes from fleas.
As noted earlier, most pet allergies cause scratching, but other symptoms can include discoloration of hair between the toes, open sores, watery eyes, ear infections, runny noses, and vomiting and diarrhea.
Most pet owners will try to help their pets with allergies. The signs of an allergy are so annoying and significant, it doesn’t go untreated for very long. The amount of scratching drives most owners nuts so they try to get it treated as soon as possible.
But pet owners should be careful about trying to medicate their pets with adult anti-allergy medicines. One person was giving her cat baby allergy medicine like her vet recommended. One day she ran out of the baby pills and decided to use half of an adult pill instead. Something in the medicine reacted badly with the cat so she took him to her vet who had to put him on a charcoal IV to drain the poisons that were affecting him out of his system. It was a close call.
This serves to show that trying to help a pet overcome an allergy is not always intuitive. Things that you might try on a human are not proper to use on your pet.