Posted By: Adam

Allergies and what to look for

This time of year, quite a few of us are suffering from hay fever. This is an allergy to the pollen in the air. It makes our nose and eyes stream, and out nose itch, making us sneeze. Our pets can also suffer from allergies, particularly in the spring and summer months. They can be allergic to pollen like we are, from grasses and trees, and specific ingredients in foods, for example chicken and duck or flea bites. 

Our dogs, however, do not get sneezes and runny nose. Instead, they become very itchy, particularly on their paws, and the most regular sign of allergies that we find is licking of the paws. It can become obsessive and particularly occurs when you settle down in front of the TV in the evening. They can also scratch in other places, lose fur and suffer from recurrent ear infections. 

Identifying the cause of the allergies is the most important thing in being able to control the problem. If the symptoms are being caused by a food allergy, this can be done relatively easily by a change of diet. When the allergy is being caused by something in the environment it can be almost impossible to identify the cause. We do blood testing to find out the specific pollens that are causing the issues. However, this sometimes shows that there are multiple causes. 

With this information we decide on the best treatment plan for the animal. These can include antihistamines, and other drugs, which slow down the reaction of your pets body to the allergen, reducing the symptoms that they have. If we know the specific allergens that are causing the issues, then we can also produce an allergy vaccine, a monthly injection, which can help the body to deal with the allergy more effectively. 

If the allergy is found to be caused by specific ingredients in the food, then we can try to cut these out, or remove all the possible allergens from the diet by changing to a prescription diet. This can be helpful if there is more than one type of protein causing the issues. 

Allergies can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering for your pet, so if you have noticed any of these symptoms, then take your animal to the vet, we can help to make them more comfortable. 

- Vet Adam

At Shepton Vets, we understand the impact allergies can have on our furry companions, especially during the spring and summer months. Our dedicated team is well-versed in diagnosing and treating pet allergies, ensuring that your beloved companions find relief from their discomfort.

Identifying the specific cause of allergies is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan. Our comprehensive approach includes thorough examinations, detailed histories, and advanced diagnostic tools to pinpoint the allergens affecting your pet. Through specialized blood testing, we can determine the specific pollens and ingredients triggering the allergic reactions.

Once we have identified the allergens, we tailor a personalised treatment plan for your pet. This may involve the use of antihistamines and other medications to reduce the body's reaction to the allergen, alleviating symptoms such as itching, paw licking, fur loss, and recurrent ear infections. For pets with specific environmental allergies, we can even develop an allergy vaccine administered through monthly injections. This vaccine helps the body build tolerance to the allergens over time, providing long-term relief.

In cases where food allergies are suspected, our veterinary team can guide you through dietary changes, including the removal of potential allergens or transitioning to a prescription diet that eliminates specific protein sources. Our goal is to find the most suitable diet that supports your pet's nutritional needs while minimizing allergic reactions.

We prioritise the well-being and comfort of your pets, and we encourage you to seek professional help if you notice any allergy-related symptoms. Our experienced veterinarians are here to provide compassionate care, accurate diagnoses, and effective treatment options to help your pet enjoy a happier, healthier life.

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Shepton Veterinary Group Limited
Allyn Saxon Drive
Shepton Mallet BA4 5QH

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