Finding Relief for Cat & Dog Allergies in Alameda, CA
Cats and dogs can develop allergies to many of the same things we do, and they are pretty common in Alameda and greater Oakland. Pet allergy symptoms, however, look different from ours and usually result in itchy skin. Cat and dog allergies can be more than uncomfortable; they can be frustrating and even affect their quality of life. In an effort to relieve the itch, cats and dogs will bite, scratch, and lick at themselves, sometimes until their skin is raw and damaged. At Providence Veterinary Hospital & Clinic, we have the experience and the medications to relieve your pet's allergies.
How to Know if Your Cat or Dog Has Allergies
The symptoms of cat and dog allergies can often be confused with other skin conditions or underlying issues, so it’s important to bring your pet in for diagnostic testing if you notice any of the following:
- Scratching, biting, and licking at the skin
- Licking/chewing at paws
- Red, irritated looking skin
- Hair loss in patches around the body
- Frequent ear infections
- Overgrooming (cats)
- Vomiting/diarrhea (in the case of food allergies)
Diagnosing Pet Allergies
To diagnose allergies, we may perform diagnostic tests to determine if your pet has allergies or another condition. We can also send out blood work to an outside lab that can run an allergy test, which can pinpoint what allergen your pet is reacting to. Knowing what’s causing your pet’s itchy skin can help you reduce their exposure, and it can help us possibly develop an immunotherapy injection, or allergy shot, that reduces your pet’s sensitivity to the allergen.
Common allergens we find include:
- Flea saliva
- Seasonal allergies to certain pollens (flower, grass, tree, etc.)
- Dust and dust mites
- Ingredients in cleaning products and/or perfumes and air fresheners
- Synthetic fabrics
If your pet has a food allergy, we’ll need to put them on an elimination diet where we first eliminate all possible allergens from their diet and then add them back in one by one. The whole process can take many weeks, but we’re here to support you the whole way—and it’s worth it for your pet’s health, too!
Treatments for Allergy Management
Allergies cannot be cured, but they can be managed so your pet has minimal discomfort throughout allergy season and beyond. Treatment options we offer include Cytopoint (an injectable that lasts for 4-8 weeks) and Apoquel (a daily allergy medication), immunotherapy treatment, topical creams and medicated shampoos, antihistamines, and more.
If your pet also develops a secondary infection from all the scratching, we can prescribe antibiotics and antifungals. Every pet is unique and will respond differently to each treatment, so we’ll work with you directly to find the best options for them!