The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and Spring allergies are getting ready to rear their ugly head. If you suffer from the sneezes and sniffles come springtime, don’t forget to check in with your pet to see if they struggle with the same symptoms!
“An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals or foods.”
For dogs, the most common allergic reaction that we see is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). Occasionally, the symptoms will involve the respiratory system with coughing, sneezing, or wheezing. Other symptoms include runny discharge from the eyes or nose, and in some cases symptoms can affect the digestive system resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
Unfortunately, allergies are quite common in dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, and a very large number of substances can act as allergens. Most are proteins of insect, plant or animal origin, but small chemical molecules known as haptens can also cause allergy. Examples of common allergens are pollens, mold spores, dust mites, shed skin cells (similar to “pet allergies” in humans), insect proteins such as flea saliva, and some medications.
There are several ways of classifying allergies. Some examples of classifications include:
- Precipitating allergen – Flea Allergy
- Route the allergen takes into the body – Inhalant Allergy, Skin Contact Allergy or Food Allergy
- Time it takes for the immune reaction – Immediate-type Hypersensitivity, also called Anaphylaxis or Shock, and Delayed-type Hypersensitivity
- Type of immune reaction – Types I through IV Hypersensitivity
- Clinical Signs – Allergic Dermatitis or Allergic Bronchitis
- Inherited forms – Atopy or Seasonal Allergies
If your pet is exhibiting any of the above symptoms give us a call so we can provide some relief!
*information courtesy of https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/allergy-general-in-dogs