Allergies affect pets just as easily -- and annoyingly -- as they affect people. But figuring out precisely why your pet is suffering from skin rashes, digestive problems, respiratory ailments and other symptoms is not necessarily an easy task since so many allergens produce similar or overlapping effects. If your pet clearly needs help with his allergy problem, then Clinton Hill Animal Clinic is the clear choice for answers. Our animal hospital in Clinton can perform a variety of allergy tests to pinpoint your pet's allergy triggers.
Does Your Pet Have Allergies?
In any creature, an allergy is an exaggerated immune response to a harmless stimulus called an allergen. When your pet touches, inhales or ingests such a substance, his immune system incorrectly perceives that substance as a threat and launches an all-out attack against the invader. An allergic reaction floods the body with histamines and other substances that cause inflammation and other unpleasant responses such as:
- Itching at the ears or the base of the tail
- Sneezing, runny ears/nose and snoring
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Red, raised or scabbed lesions on the skin
While most allergy symptoms are merely annoying, some can cause significant harm. If your pet constantly bites or licks itchy skin, for example, an open wound may develop, leading to bacterial infection. An extreme allergic reaction can even cause an emergency called anaphylactic shock in which the airway swells up and breathing becomes impossible.
One of the complicating factors in treating pet allergies is the number of potential allergens out there. Atopic allergies, which caused by skin contact or inhalation, may be caused by perfumes, poison oak, flea and tick bites, molds, grasses, pollen, pollution, household dust and many other irritants. Food allergies may be set off by a single ingredient hidden in your pet's daily menu. To add to the confusion, food allergies may create many of the same skin issues as atopic allergies.
Identifying Pet Allergies
If your pet's sneezing and scratching has you scratching your head, bring him to our animal hospital in Clinton Hill for allergy testing. First, we determine whether a potential food allergy is the cause of your pet's misery. If a hypoallergenic or elimination diet (subtracting one potential allergen at a time) fails to yield results, then we are probably dealing with atopic pet allergies instead. We can then administer tests such as:
- Intradermal skin testing - Tiny amounts of common allergens are injected into exposed areas of skin, allowing us to see reactions.
- Serum allergy testing - This blood test can show us not only the allergens affecting your pet but the severity of the reactions.
Contact Our Animal Hospital in Brooklyn Today!
Don't allergies wreck your pet's quality of life -- call 718-623-3999 for an appointment at our animal hospital in Brooklyn. We proudly serve Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Vinegar Hill, Prospect Heights, Bushwick, & Park Slope.
If you've never visited us before, take advantage of our free consultation for new patients! We look forward to meeting with you!