Spring has sprung and so has the allergy season!

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Google Maps location for Bakers Hill Veterinary Hospital

Bakers Hill Veterinary Hospital
4609 Great Eastern Highway
Bakers Hill
WA 6562

Phone:
08 9574 1061


Itchy dogOne of the things we spend a lot of time treating coming into this part of the year is allergies!

I once heard Perth described as the allergy capital of the world. That was for humans, but I believe it may just as well be true for our pets! And if Perth is the allergy capital, we can probably label Bakers Hill as the allergy suburb or region, being located right on the edge of the Wheatbelt!

Our cats and dogs suffer allergies just as we do, except they don't start sneezing. Instead they break out in a rash or start licking, scratching or chewing themselves. If the itch isn't treated, infections often result. 

Did you know that ear infections are part of the allergy syndrome? And that paw licking or rubbing on the grass or bushes is not a habit but actually a symptom of allergies?

Allergies are uncomfortable! I am lucky enough to not have allergies myself, but ask anyone who does and they will agree! Personally I can only imagine how uncomfortable it must be to be constantly itchy... and I see this confirmed when I see how much damage some pets with allergies will do to themselves. I also see the exhaustion which often results, and the relief when the itch is gone - both in the pet and the owner!

So what is my approach to treating allergies? First and foremost I try and get the pet comfortable again, give them a break from the itch! Then I address any problems that have developed as a result of the allergies, usually these are infections. Then we look at how the allergy can best be managed. Some allergies can be avoided in which case it may be worth spending some time finding out what the allergy is. Other allergies end up being treated medically and there are a range of options available these days for this. 

Frustrating? Yes, frequently. Long drawn-out process? Yes, unfortunately. For the faint-hearted? No way. Worth it? Hopefully!

My experience is that if both vet and owner stick with it and communicate well with each other, that more often than not the result for the pet and the owner is worth it!

So what are the most common allergies that cats and dogs get? They are fleas, food (eg chicken, beef and wheat) and environmental allergies (eg grasses, pollens but also house dust mite). And - as with any allergy - it only takes the slightest exposure to set the allergy off!

 

 

 

 

 


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