Just like people pets too can suffer from seasonal allergies. There are three main types of allergies and we will discuss how to differentiate these types of allergies through physical examination, diagnostics, and treatment.

It is the most common type of allergy. Atopy is a hypersensitivity that is caused by environmental factors that a pet could have either inhaled or comes into physical contact with. Substances that can cause atopy are pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and other environmental allergens. We diagnose atopy based on clinical signs and then ruling out other types of allergies or other causes of skin disease. Atopy can result in secondary infections on the skin and ears.

Signs of Atopy:
Itchiness, redness of the skin.
Most affected areas:
Face, the underside of the belly, ears, backs of legs, feet, and sometimes under the tail.
The areas of pets that are more in contact with our rugs/carpets, grasses, etc. are severely affected.

Cytopoint injections, Immunomodulators.

Flea Allergy
It is quite a common allergy in pets. This is one of the many reasons why we recommend monthly flea and tick preventions for all pets. One of the aspects of flea allergy is pruritus and dermatitis which affects the back half of the body, especially the base of the tail.

Signs of Allergy: Pruritus, Redness.
Commonly affected areas: the back half of the body, and the base of the tail.

Even hair loss in cats

If Allergy continues, then secondary flea prevention can be recommended.

Environmental flea control, flea prevention, and Flea control if there are other pets in the household.

Food Allergy
Food allergy is the uncommon type of allergies. Pets are mostly allergic to proteins. It is very rare for a pet to be allergic to grains, and we do not recommend a grain-free diet for this reason. Pets can develop food allergies at any age and can develop an allergy to a certain type of food even after eating it for several years. Commercial allergy testing kits are not recommendable and should not be used to make a diagnosis of food allergy.

Signs of Allergy: Pruritus, Redness.
Affected areas: Ears, face, and legs, under the tail.

Diet elimination trial: The only way to diagnose a food allergy is by feeding either a novel protein diet for 12 weeks. The food must have one protein source.  During this time no treats or outside food should be given to pets, as this will impact the results of the trial.
Change in Diet, feeding only Vets prescribed diet with no outside treat. 

Now you can see that there are many similarities between the types of allergies. There are a few distinctions that a veterinarian can guide you in the right direction. Diagnosing and controlling the allergies can be a lengthy and difficult process, but remember a food trial takes only 3 months. There are many other reasons for an itchy pet. If the pet is shaking their head, rubbing or scratching, chewing their paws, we recommend consulting with your vet. There are many factors that could be causing your pet’s skin disease.