Several objects in the environment can be inhaled by pets and can trigger allergic reactions in dogs and cats. These objects induce the cells of the pets to release substances such as histamine. With histamine, the irritation begins.
The objects in the environment that cause this type of allergies are called allergens. Some examples of these allergens are the following:
· Pollen from the surrounding flowering plants
· Dusts that have accumulated in several areas in the house
· Mites and similar tiny creatures that survive and live on dust
· Molds, fungi, and other similar low forms of plants. The spores from these can be inhaled by pets
Pets, upon exposure to the above allergens will show several symptoms. Among dogs, the major symptoms are:
· Unstoppable itching in the face and in the feet
· Other itching and irritation in several parts of the body
· Occurrence of sores and discharges
· Loss of hair
Among cats, the symptoms of inhalant allergies are:
· Unspecific itching
· Intolerable itching in the face, neck, and thighs
· Inflammation and sores in different parts of the body
· Loss of hair
When the above symptoms are displayed, especially on certain seasons, such as spring and summer, dogs or cats are most likely affected by pollen allergy. To accurately determine the occurrence of inhalant allergies, pets should be taken to the vet. The vet will carry out a skin test to find out if, indeed, the dog or cat is suffering from inhalant allergies. Some vets also conduct blood tests, but the results of this type of test are oftentimes uncertain.
The best treatment is prevention of further worsening of the allergy. That is, the source of the allergens should be removed. Sometimes, this is easy if the allergens are dusts and mites that live in them. A good cleaning is all that a pet owner needs to do. But sometimes, removing the allergen could be difficult. That is, taking away the flowering plant may not be feasible.
Thus, owners resort to other treatments. Two of these allergy treatments are:
· Anti-itch medicines – These medicines suppress the production of histamines. These can be taken orally or gently rubbed on the irritated area.
· Allergy shots – These can make the pets less sensitive to the presence of allergens. Vets can provide these allergy shots.
Not all cats and dogs suffer allergies when exposed to pollen and other inhaled allergens. The reason for this is their heredity. Other pets have genetic characteristics that predisposes them to have allergies.