“How do I know if my pet has allergies?” is a common question that we hear at SRVC. One of the most common signs that pets with allergies display—and that is unmistakable to their owners—is chronic scratching. Another common result of allergies is chronic ear infections that are often more difficult for pet owners to notice.
For many pets in Little Rock, fleas are the allergen that most commonly causes chronic scratching. About 10 percent of dogs are simply prone to allergies due to their genetics. Food allergies affect about one percent of all dogs. In terms of food allergies, it’s important to realize that your dog can develop an allergic reaction to a food that you have been feeding him or her on a long-term basis. Such allergies usually develop over time rather than at your pet’s first exposure to them.
In many cases, just like with other aspects of veterinary medicine, a diagnosis of allergies is not a simple one to make. For one thing, as a pet owner, you might expect that your dog or cat will display a certain amount of scratching on a daily basis. This is especially true in a warm climate like Little Rock and the surrounding areas has.
In addition to scratching, your pet could develop secondary skin infections that often clue owners in to the fact that there is a deeper problem. Bacteria or fungus that develop as the result of exposure to an allergen, the pet’s scratching or both are also commonly seen here at SRVC.
At SRVC, we care about your pet’s health and happiness. We take a holistic approach to the treatment of allergies. This means that in addition to treating any secondary infections, we also strive to determine what your pet is allergic to. We start with a thorough history of your pet including when the symptoms appeared, any other animals in the household and the diet that your pet is fed.
We have an array of treatment options available to offer your pet. These include strict hypoallergenic diets, fatty acid supplements, steroid treatment, medicated baths, immune suppressants, antihistamines and desensitization injections. The caring and experienced staff at SRVC crafts a customized treatment plan that targets your pet’s particular condition. Follow-up visits might be necessary to ensure that your pet is making satisfactory progress.