May is Allergy Awareness Month

In acknowledgment of this River Bridge Animal Hospital is offering 15% Off all allergy testing.

Allergy is a genetically predisposed condition of hypersensitivity to substances that are common and harmless to most animals. The immunological mechanisms underlying allergy in dogs, cats and horses are essentially the same as in humans. There are five main types of allergy:

  • Atopy or atopic dermatitis: Hypersensitivity to pollen, mites, moulds and dander
  • Food allergy: Hypersensitivity to protein components of the diet, such as chicken
  • Insect and flea allergy: Hypersensitivity to insect and flea saliva
  • Contact allergy: Hypersensitivity to materials such as plastic, linoleum and paint
  • Drug allergy: Hypersensitivity to antibiotics, antiparasitic and other medicines


Food allergy is the most likely cause of allergic symptoms in animals under 1 year of age.

You may recognize these symptoms: ear inflammation, excessive feet licking, generalized itching, gastritis, and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea. Other clues that your pet may be suffering from food allergies include year-round symptoms and poor response to steroids.

Dog Allergies

Dermatitis (skin irritation) is the most common symptom for dogs with allergies.

  1. Intense itching and scratching (pruritis)
  2. Feet licking and chewing
  3. Face rubbing
  4. Hair loss
  5. Rash, skin abscesses and infection

Cat Allergies

40% of allergic cats demonstrate similar dermatologic (skin) symptoms as dogs. Cats with allergies will excessively groom themselves, causing hair loss. Some cats may display even more intense irritations such as feline acne, respiratory conditions (asthma, sneezing, nasal discharge, and watery eyes), gastritis, vomiting, and diarrhea.

  1. Feline acne, eosinophilic plaques or granulomas
  2. Respiratory conditions including asthma, sneezing, nasal discharge, and watery eyes
  3. Gastritis, vomiting, and diarrhea
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