Discover Madison Kentucky January-February 2021 - Page 31

Pets , Pets , Pets

Symptoms pet have allergies and what ’ s behind them
Allergies can vary in severity and cause various symptoms . According to the Mayo Clinic , allergies occur when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance by producing antibodies . These antibodies identify a particular allergen as harmful , even when it isn ’ t . Allergies can cause reactions in the skin , breathing passages and digestive system .
Thousands of people experience allergies to foods , pets and environmental factors . Pets also can be susceptible to allergies . Allergies can be found in cats and dogs , according to PetMD . They also may be present in other animals . People who notice their companion animals scratching , chewing or licking themselves more than normal may find their pets have allergies . Some pets may experience gastrointestinal issues as well .
The pet care information site Pet Cube says common allergens for pets can include :
• pollen from trees , grass and weeds
• food ingredients
• dust mites
• prescription medications
• fleas
• flea / tick control products
Cats create a whole new dynamic when they ’ re brought into a home . First-time cat owners may have a host of questions about their new furry friends , but foremost on that list likely concerns what to feed their felines .
The ASPCA recommends speaking with a veterinarian prior to designing a diet for your cat . The vet will recommend a diet based on a host of variables , including the cat ’ s age , its activity level and its overall health . That last component is especially important when adopting a fullgrown cat , as some cats may not be coming from good homes . That means some cats may be malnourished or have
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The basics of feeding cats

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• cleaning products While their human friends may get runny noses or coughs from allergies , symptoms of allergies in cats and dogs tend to take the form of skin irritation , otherwise known as allergic dermatitis . Pet parents should look for the presence of red and irritated skin , hair loss , hot spots , and rashes or hives , in addition to extensive itching or obsessive licking . Flea allergies are one of the most common sources of allergies for pets . The bite of just one or two fleas per week is enough to cause a reaction . A pet gnawing just at the base of the tail may be suffering from fleas , although other areas may be affected , advises PetMD . Seasonal and environmental allergies or allergies to foods can result in face rubbing and licking , especially the paws . Skin or ear infections also may occur . Pets also may be allergic to one another . According to veterinarian Dr . Robert Trimble , co-founder of the San Francisco-based Fuzzy Pet Health , says he ’ s heard of dogs being allergic to cats and vice versa .
The American Kennel Club urges pet parents to seek help if their pets seem to be itchy all the time . Allowing a
developed diseases in their previous homes . Such cats still make wonderful additions to a home , but special consideration will likely need to given to their diets to return them to full health and / or promote their long-term health . In addition to speaking with a veterinarian , the ASPCA recommends new cat owners keep the following tips in mind when designing diets for their furry friends .
• Look for age-specific balanced foods . The ASPCA notes that cats require the essential amino acid taurine , which promotes eye and heart health . Cat foods are designed based on the life stage of the feline , and choosing the right balanced food for your cat ’ s age will ensure it gets enough taurine in its diet to thrive .
• Provide fresh , clean water at all times . PetMD notes that cats need less water than dogs to stay healthy , but it ’ s still vital that cats have access to fresh , clean water at all times . Bowls should be cleaned at least once per day and water should be refilled daily .
• Limit treats . The ASPCA says treats should be no more than between 5 and 10 percent of the cat ’ s diet .
• Be careful with baby food . Some cat owners find that feeding finicky kittens baby foods gets them to eat when they ’ re refusing their own food .
pet to scratch or lick for extended periods of time may lead to skin infections with bacteria or yeast . While all allergies cannot be tested , elimination diets and other techniques may help pinpoint sources of allergies . It is essential to speak with a vet to determine how to relieve allergies to help pets feel more comfortable .
But the ASPCA warns cat owners to read baby food labels carefully before feeding any to a pet . Onion or garlic powder , which can be found in some baby foods , can be poisonous to cats .
• Don ’ t wait to go to the vet if the cat is exhibiting signs of illness . The ASPCA advises cat owners to take their cats to the vet if the animals exhibit signs of anorexia , diarrhea , vomiting , or lethargy for more than two days . New cat owners should speak with their veterinarians about how to feed their cats and should never hesitate to express any concerns about the feline ’ s eating habits to their vets .
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