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Allergic Reaction

Allergic Reaction

The immune system is designed to protect the body from infection. A normally functioning system recognizes things that are "non-self" such as bacteria, viruses, other microorganisms, pollen, and other small particles that enter or contact the body. The immune system processes the invaders to help prevent disease.

In some instances, the immune system can overreact, causing mild to severe, life threatening disease, manifesting as an "allergic reaction”.

Allergic Reaction Symptoms

Almost any substance can potentially cause an allergic reaction including food, insect bites, medications, grooming products, vaccines and inhaled particles like dust or pollen.

Mild to moderate reactions may include swelling or irritation of the skin, especially around the face, head, and feet. Hives, rashes, blisters, clear discharge from eyes or nostrils, sneezing, itching and mild discomfort may also be present.

Other Signs of Allergic Reactions in Pets

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Choking
  • Coughing
  • Severe swelling or skin reactions
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • *Anaphylactic shock 
*Anaphylactic Shock is a severe, immediate, and life threatening immune reaction that requires emergency treatment.

Allergic Reaction Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on history, symptoms, and examination findings. All allergic reactions should receive prompt medical treatment. The treatment varies based on severity, but usually includes antihistamines and other medications to control the allergic reaction.

Severe cases may require additional medications, breathing support, cardiac monitoring, fluid therapy and hospitalization.

Post-Treatment and Prevention Tips

  • Use all medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.
  • Monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked if there are any concerns.
  • Have your pet rechecked as recommended by your veterinarian.

Learn More

If you have questions about pet allergies, please contact your Banfield Pet Hospital today. You can also browse through our pet health library for more articles on allergies and other topics like the ones you see below: