Animals are liable to suffer from allergic reactions to stimuli from their environment just as much as humans, but certain breeds are more vulnerable than others.
Recognizing the connection between a certain category of triggers and the allergic reaction falls under the responsibility of the owner, who should do his best to minimize the impact and prevent the pet’s exposure to them. Depending on the severity of the allergy, the symptoms your pet manifests and allergens involved, your vet will prescribe a treatment and advise you on the optimal course of action. Let’s find out what your options are.
1. Determining it’s an allergic reaction with 100% certainty
It’s important to know that what appears as an allergic reaction to the untrained eye could very well be the symptom of a similar underlying condition. Therefore, vets caution about diagnosing the animal yourself and without the proper testing, unless of course, you have a background in veterinary medicine.
To establish the source of the problems, your vet will conduct a series of tests on the skin of the ‘patient’ and examine blood, stool and urine samples. Once other possibilities are eliminated and the negative reaction is determined to be the result of allergen exposure, your pet’s healthcare professional can recommend a treatment.
2. Bathing your pet and applying suitable topical treatments
Bathing the pet on a regular basis – between daily and once every seven days, according to your vet’s recommendation – helps eliminate the allergy triggers from the fur. Use animal-specific shampoos for this purpose, because standard ones may contain substances that the skin of your pet doesn’t tolerate very well. Using a vet prescribed leave-on conditioner might also be fruitful in dealing with the irritation.
3. Eye drops and specific ocular ointments
Applying eye drops thrice a day – these solutions don’t have to be animal specific – is a great way to eliminate potential allergy triggers lodged in the ocular globe. These solutions are also effective in terms of reducing mild ocular inflammations, should they develop in your pet. Eye rinses could allow you to understand whether the inflammation is the result of allergen exposure or it indicates a different underlying condition. In the latter case, your vet might have to prescribe an antibiotic ocular ointment or a steroid one.
4. Cleaning the ear canal
The ear canal and flaps of your pet constitute perfect environments for dust, microorganisms, loose hairs and mites to develop. Use animal-specific cleansers to irrigate the area on a regular basis to prevent these allergens from accumulating there. When your pet loves to swim or you bathe him on a frequent basis, you might have to clean the ear flaps after every water exposure.
5. Changing the diet to accommodate certain nutrients
The diet change has two roles: eliminating the potential allergy triggers and introducing nutrients that help the organism fight the reaction. Identifying the allergens is essentially a trial and error process, particularly if you’re feeding your pet store-bought canned foods. Regarding the optimal nutrients, research shows that Omega 3 fatty acids derived from fish meat present anti-inflammatory properties, and bolster the organism’s defenses against harmful microorganisms.