What to Expect When Your Pet Has an Allergy

Our pets have plenty of differences that can make taking care of them feel mysterious or tricky, but many times, they’re more like us than it seems. One example is that pets can get allergies. If your pet does have allergies, they might need help from The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt. In fact, this is what you can expect when you see our Summerfield vet to deal with pet allergies.



For dogs and cats, allergy symptoms look a lot like what you would see in a human. Persistent sneezing and itching are the most common symptoms. Itching, in particular, can be identified by excessive licking or chewing on an affected area. As symptoms escalate, you might see swelling (most common around the face and ears), excessive shedding, bald spots, flaky skin, and bumps. In general, if your pet seems miserable, go see the vet.


There are many ways to approach a diagnosis when it comes to allergies. They can be summarized as elimination and direct testing. In many cases, allergy symptoms will have multiple potential causes, so your vet may want to test for more serious conditions first. As underlying causes are ruled out, allergies will eventually be unveiled as the problem.

In other cases, the vet can directly test for allergies. This will typically apply to allergies that have skin-related symptoms. Allergy tests can expose the pet to direct allergens to measure a reaction. The most difficult case to diagnose is food allergies. When food allergies are suspected, an elimination diet is the only way to be sure. The pet will have to eat from carefully monitored novel food sources to identify the problem.


Once the allergies are known, treatment primarily comes in two forms. The best treatment is to remove the allergens from the pet’s life. That might mean eliminating fleas, which is one of the most common causes of pet allergies or fixing your pet’s diet. If the allergies are caused by something that can’t be removed from the pet’s life, then antihistamines can be prescribed. They can be oral or topical and help you treat the allergies directly.

Get Help from Your Vet Today

If you think your pet has allergies, you should contact The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt in Summerfield. Call us today at (336) 643-2229 to schedule an appointment.


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  • "I have been taking my 16 year old lab, Oscar, to this vet since he came to me in 2004, and I wouldn't take any of my dogs anywhere else! They are so wonderful with both pets and people. I would recommend any of the doctors and staff to anyone."
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  • "We have been going to another vet for years. We wanted to have our year old Wheaten Terrier, Rylee spayed by laparoscopy so she would have less pain and be back to her usual activity in 2-3 days instead of 10-14 days. Our vet does the traditional spay. We had a consult meet and greet with Dr. Courtney Pierce. She answered all our questions and so friendly and professional. They have a state of the art OR suite. Rylee did great. On post op day three she spotted a squirrel and did an all out chase with no ill effects! All the staff were great."
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  • "I love Dr. Jernigan at AHLB and would never take my dog anywhere else! The staff is excellent with animals and always professional, courteous and respectful to owners. I have trusted this animal hospital for all of my dog's care, including check ups, surgeries (she's had three!) and for boarding when we have to go out of town. Every experience I have had here has been wonderful and I highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a veterinary office for their furry children!."
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