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Allergies in Cats and Dogs
by Kiya Sama

Due to walking on all fours, pets are closer to the ground than humans. They sniff more than humans. Dust and pollen can stick to their coats more easily than to the slick skin of humans. Consequently, pets tend to suffer from allergies from dust, mites, spores, pollen and molds. The symptom can be sneezing, but the most common and severe reaction is skin irritation. The difference between human allergies and pet allergies? Humans outgrow them, pets just get worse.


Look for these signs:

Chest, abdomen, and armpit scratching
Rubbing face and ears
Runny eyes
Sneezing, coughing, wheezing (mostly in cats).

Before going to the veterinarian, consider the answers to questions he or she is likely to ask: What are the skin problems like? What food does the pet eat? What medicine allergies does it have? Is the problem seasonal? Does it lick the tops of its paws? Does the pet lick the bottoms of its paws or itch all over?

The most dangerous allergic reaction is anaphylactic - to penicillin, incompatible blood transfusions, or insect bites. Anaphylactic reactions can kill by causing cardiovascular breakdown, respiratory failure, and shock. Make sure your vet knows about any reactions to drugs or blood transfusions.

Dogs and cats, like humans, get hives from food or medication. With hives, the tissues around the head swell and other body parts may show round, red places. Signs: the pet itches and rubs its head on the ground to scratch. Give the pet a bath in mild soap and take it to the vet for treatment.

One of the most common allergic reactions is flea allergy dermatitis, which in a sensitive animal can be caused by only one or two fleabites. The most sensitive parts of the body are the base of the tail, the hindquarters, and the lower abdomen. An animal who is severely affected may lose a good deal of hair and be covered with sores. Solutions are control of fleas and allergic treatment. Animals, as well as humans, can suffer from other insect bites. Treat with cold packs and antihistamines. See your veterinarian.

Food allergies can bring about itching, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. Cats can develop asthma (another allergic reaction) with coughing, wheezing and sneezing. Solutions: feeding of hypoallergenic foods, bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

Contact allergy, most commonly caused by flea collars, makes the skin red and causes sores, infection, hair loss. Take off the causative agent. Bathe your pet with mild soap. Feline acne (pimples under the cat's chin) is contact allergy caused by plastic food and water bowls. Water and feed pets from glass or stainless steel dishes.

Though animals can be desensitized, the treatment is expensive, time-consuming, and often disappointing. The most common treatments are antihistamines, cortisone, and anti-inflammatory drugs. The substance that causes the allergy should be eliminated.

This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pets

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