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We often think of allergies as pollen that causes us to sneeze, cough and make our eyes water. Did you know your pet can have allergies too? However, allergies in our pets are much more likely to cause itchiness, red skin and skin infections.

Types of allergies in pets:

• Environmental: This is the most common allergy in pets and is caused by things in your pet’s environment, such as pollen and grass.

• External parasites: These are bugs that may live on your pet’s skin, including fleas and mites. Every itchy animal should be on a flea and tick preventative to eliminate this possible cause.

• Food: This is almost always caused by the protein in your pet’s food, even if it’s been fed to your pet for a long time. The solution is to feed a very strict prescription hypoallergenic diet for an extended period. Many over-the-counter diets that claim to have restricted protein still have trace amounts of other proteins. Even a tiny amount can set off an allergic reaction, i.e.: itchiness.

Regardless of the initial cause of itchiness in your pet, bacterial or fungal infections can also contribute to the itchiness. These must be treated to provide your pet with relief. Allergies require life-long management and, in general, no “quick fix” is available. Fortunately, we now have many safe and effective options to treat allergies.

If you’d like to make your itchy pet more comfortable, give us a call at Valley Verde Veterinarians (520-393-7387).