Statistically, one out of four dogs and one out of ten cats will have some sort of allergy issue. It’s a fact of life. Simply put, allergies are the result of the immune system doing its job too well. The immune system recognizes a foreign substance and mounts an antibody response to it. Too many antibodies or the wrong type of antibodies are produced and you then have an allergic response. Animals can be allergic to the same things we humans are: pollens, molds, insect stings, food medications, ect… Some of these allergens are year round, such as molds; others are seasonal, like grasses and weeds. Most allergy problems in animals will be exhibited with skin and/or ear issues. “My dog is scratching all the time, she is shaking her head all the time and has sores on her back and under her legs.”
Fall and Spring tend to be seasons where we see more allergies than Summer or Winter. In the Fall, fleas are at their highest numbers, and furnaces are kicking on and blowing molds and dust mites through the ducts of our houses. In the Spring, trees and shrubs are pollinating. Seventy five percent of all allergies in pets are due to fleas; flea control is very important in all pets, especially ones with allergies.
Other things that you can do to help prevent allergies or minimize their effects are supplementing your pets’ diet with omega-3 fatty acids. These act as immune modulators and help in keeping the immune system in check. They also promote good skin health. Fish oil capsules are an excellent source of omega-3 and can be bought at most grocery stores and pharmacies. One capsule per 10 to 15 lbs of body weight per day, will go a long way in keeping your pet healthy. Omega-3 supplementation alone can eliminate 20-30% of your pets’ allergy problems.
If you pet won’t take fish oil capsules, there are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, so ask about them at your next visit with Dr. Rob . There are also many good options today for flea and parasite control. Our staff will make the best recommendation for your pet and his/her lifestyle.