There is always a lot of talk about allergies in pets. That’s because allergic disease is extremely common among dogs and cats.

Many people assume that an allergic pet will sneeze and have itchy eyes like we do (and that could be true). Allergic disease in pets is called “atopy or atopic dermatitis” because an allergic companion animal is much more likely to have skin itching and irritation. Affected dogs will lick their feet and sometimes pull at their nails to the point of irritation of the skin and the owner. Affected cats will groom and lick their bodies excessively.

If you notice you notice that your dog or your cat seems to be licking a lot, be sure to tell us at Applebrook Animal Hospital.

These affected pets may also rub their faces, shake their heads, and have missing or thinning hair.

So what do you do?

The most important thing to understand is that Atopy is an actual diagnosis. It is not something that you can diagnose on your own. If you think that your pet suffers from allergic disease, the most important step is to call us!

We can tell you if your pet may need some testing to help pin down the diagnosis. There are countless skin diseases that can mimic atopy too. You would not want to be constantly giving your pet OTC meds because you thought he/she had allergies when there was actually a skin mite or infection. Let us help you.

Allergies are not something to minimize or “blow off”.  They are not usually life threatening, but they severely impact quality of life and they usually get worse over time.  They are not curable, but can be effectively managed.

Do not fall in the Benadryl® trap! Diphenhydramine is typically not extremely effective in managing canine allergic symptoms.  For our patients, there are much better choices. Even prescription antihistamines may not be enough to manage severe allergies, but we a lot of tricks up our sleeves to help pets with allergic disease!

If your pet seems overly itchy, please call now! 423-238-7387