Both dogs and cats are susceptible to food allergies, sometimes causing skin problems and other serious issues. And they can happen year-round, unlike seasonal allergies to pollen or mold, for example. And pets can develop food allergies even when they’ve eaten the same food for many years. Your veterinarian Spring Hill, TN has seen it happen.
But it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to food allergies and your pet. Here, your vet Spring Hill, TN tells you more about this health issue and what to do about it.
Why do food allergies happen?
Food allergies happen for the same reason that other types of allergies happen. Your pet’s immune system starts to recognize a substance as harmful, even when it’s not. Ingredients in food often trigger allergies. The most common ingredients that trigger pets’ immune systems include beef, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, corn, and wheat. Consult your vet clinic Spring Hill, TN for more information about these ingredients and their role in your pet’s diet.
What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Common symptoms of food allergies in pets include itching around the ears, limbs, groin area, and armpits. Some pets develop crusty lesions around the face and chin. Others show symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, like diarrhea. And ear infections, hot spots and hair loss, and skin infections are also relatively common in cases of food allergies. Your veterinary clinic Spring Hill, TN can tell you more about these symptoms and what to watch out for.
How are food allergies diagnosed?
Your animal hospital Spring Hill, TN might use blood or skin tests to help diagnose a food allergy. Usually, however, a food trial (otherwise known as an elimination diet) is what’s used to confirm an allergy to a particular ingredient. This involves starting your pet on special diets, and keeping track of how they react when eating diets with or without certain ingredients.
In this fashion, your pet clinic Spring Hill, TN can pinpoint the exact ingredient in your pet’s food that’s causing them trouble. Learn more about elimination diets and how they work by contacting the professionals at your vet’s office.
How are food allergies treated?
Depending on the severity of your pet’s symptoms, corticosteroids and antibiotics may be administered. These medicines will help relieve your pet’s itching and resolve skin infections if they’re present. An ear infection could be treated with antibiotics, antifungal medications, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Your veterinarians Spring Hill, TN will provide you with precise guidance.
Of course, the only way to keep a pet healthy in the long-term is to have them avoid the particular ingredient they react to. Your pet might have to eat a hypoallergenic diet that doesn’t contain that ingredient indefinitely. Some pets can return to their old diet eventually, but it’s usually not worth the risk. You’ll be able to work closely with your veterinary clinic Spring Hill, TN to come up with a management plan for your pet.