Dogs and cats, just like humans, can have allergies. More than 30% of all skin irritations in these animals can be attributed to allergies. You may notice that your pet's symptoms get worse during the spring and summer, simply because of the increased amounts of pollen in the air during those times.
While the causes of allergies in humans and animals are the same, the clinical signs displayed by the allergies may differ. In humans, the classic signs of an allergy are nasal and respiratory symptoms. In animals, however, it is far more common to show signs of skin irritations with intense itching. Cats often show more signs of respiratory distress (as in humans) than dogs. The classic signs of an allergic animal begin with scratching, feet licking and chewing, face rubbing, and ear infections. As the allergies become more severe, the chewing may eventually lead to bacterial skin problems, although it is not uncommon for them to cause vomiting and diarrhea.
If your pet's history and physical examination suggest that an allergy is likely, our veterinarians may recommend allergy assessment to identify the offending allergens.