Relieving the Itch with Allergy Management

Offering Relief from Cat & Dog Allergies for Chelsea Pets

Cats and dogs can get allergies just like we do. Yet, instead of sniffling with runny noses, they usually develop irritated, itchy skin. Allergies in dogs and cats are not only uncomfortable for them, but their excessive scratching can damage the skin barrier, opening the door for infections. At Firefly Veterinary Hospital in Chelsea, we have the ability to provide effective allergy management that relieves the itch and fights any infections, too!

What Causes Cat & Dog Allergies?

Cats and dogs are vulnerable to the same allergens that affect us! Some of the more common culprits include:

  • Pollen from trees, flowers, grass, etc.
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Dust and dust mites
  • Fleas
  • Food ingredients
  • Synthetic fibers
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • And more
How Do You Know if Your Pet Has an Allergy?

While you will need an official diagnosis from your veterinarian to be sure your pet has allergies, there are some symptoms you can watch for!

  • Obsessive scratching, licking, or chewing at skin
  • Skin looks red and irritated
  • Loss of hair, particularly around the belly, armpits, and between the toes
  • Licking at paws
  • Overgrooming (cats)
  • Vomiting/diarrhea (food intolerance)
How We Diagnose an Allergy

The symptoms of allergies are very similar to other, more serious diseases. That's why it’s important we perform thorough diagnostics to first rule these out. Once we’ve done that, we can safely diagnose an allergy. For the exact allergen your pet is sensitive to, it’s possible to send a blood sample to an outside lab for allergy testing. For a food intolerance, we’ll put your pet on an elimination diet and then reintroduce ingredients one at a time to see which one your pet reacts to. It’s a long process, but we’re here to help every step of the way. And it’s worth it in the end!

Allergy Management Options

There are several different options for treating cat and dog allergies. Since each pet is unique, it may take a couple of tries to see which option works best for them—but we promise we’ll get there! Your pet’s allergy management may include:

  • Cytopoint – an injection for dogs that controls the itch for 4-8 weeks
  • Apoquel – a daily tablet for dogs that controls the itch
  • Atopica – a daily tablet for dogs and topical for cats that controls the itch
  • Antihistamines
  • Medicated shampoos and topicals
  • Antibiotics to fight secondary bacterial infections
  • Antifungals to fight secondary fungal infections
  • Hypoallergenic diet for food allergies
brown dog sitting on sidewalk