Allergies (Part 2)

During the last blog, Dr. Flores, Veterinarian at Bearss Animal Clinic (A Full Service Veterinary Hospital) discussed two of the most common types of allergies in dogs and cats.  Today, the Veterinarian will continue by discussing two more.  These are: bacterial hypersensitivity and  food allergies.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can become apparent at almost any age. The typical signs of a food allergy are itchy, inflamed skin, and in some cases an upset stomach.  It occurs when the body forms antibodies against proteins or carbohydrates that may be found in certain foods.  Some of these foods may be beef, pork, poultry, lamb and certain grains.  Unlike other types of allergies, food allergies do not typically respond to steroid injections.  The only way to determine if your pet has a food allergy is by doing a food allergy trial.  This is done by feeding a hypoallergenic diet for 8 to 12 weeks, because it takes up to 12 weeks for the body to clear all of the previously fed food allergens.  A hypoallergenic diet is a special food that is manufactured in a way, where the pet’s immune system does not detect the proteins and carbohydrates in the food as foreign. These are usually prescription diets.   Most over the counter foods are not really hypoallergenic.  Grain free is not the same as hypoallergenic.  All table food, treats and vitamins must be discontinued during the testing period.  If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a valid test. There may be problems with certain types of chewable tablets, such as heartworm preventatives, which may have beef or pork as a flavoring.  If an improvement in the pet’s allergy condition is noticed, a dietary modification plan will be developed.  In order to confirm that the pet’s problem was a food allergy, the “old” food should be fed for 1 week.  If the symptoms return, the diagnosis of a food allergy is confirmed.  If the symptoms do not return, the problem was not due to a food allergy.

Bacterial Hypersensitivity

Bacterial hypersensitivity is a very interesting type of allergy.  Everyone’s skin, including your pet’s, is populated by bacteria.  These are normal bacterial flora.  The skin has normal “skin barriers” that keep the bacteria under control and outside of the body.  When these normal barriers are gone because of inflammation or scratching, the immune system may over react to the presence of the bacteria, and the allergy will develop.  The only way to treat this type of allergy is by the use of antibiotics and topical medications such as shampoos.  Weekly bathing with antibacterial shampoos will help to keep the bacterial population on the skin under check.  We carry several shampoos that will control the bacteria, while keeping the skin healthy and moisturized.

Is your pet suffering from allergies?  Call today to schedule an appointment with our Veterinarian, Dr. Flores;

at Bearss Animal Clinic.

Bearss Animal Clinic is a full service Veterinary Hospital contact us at :

813-961-1222.

 

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