Pet Allergies Week (PAW) runs each year.
What are allergies?
An allergy is the reaction of the immune system to a substance known as an allergen. Allergens include certain foods, pollens, grasses, moulds, mites and fleas. Your pet can be exposed to these allergens by ingesting them, inhaling them or absorbing them through the skin.
How do I know if my pet has allergies?
Allergies can cause itchiness, paw licking, ear problems, tummy upsets, breathing problems and hair loss. These signs are not specific to allergies though, so if your pet is suffering any of these signs, please get an appointment with a vet.
How has my pet got allergies?
Allergies can have an inherited predisposition, but also require exposure to the allergen, in order to develop an allergy to it.
How can my vet test for allergies?
Besides assessment of your pet and their history, there are several tests available to diagnose allergies. One of these tests involves sending a blood sample off for analysis.
How can allergies be managed?
Allergies are not curable and often require lifelong management. Because pets can be allergic to a wide range of things, the management and treatment of each individual is different. For some pets, avoiding the allergen is possible and can prevent signs of allergic disease. For others, a combination of medicine, diet, skin care and desensitisation may be appropriate.
Will allergies be covered by my pets insurance?
It is worth checking with your insurer if allergy testing and management are covered on your policy. As already mentioned, allergies are not curable and often require lifelong treatment.