As you probably know, dogs and cats can be allergic to many things. Dust, dirt, fleas, mold, pollen, ingredients in their food, certain materials like rubber or plastic… the list goes on and on. But can dogs and cats themselves actually be allergic to each other? And if they are, what should you do about it? Read on to learn more from an experienced Black Hills vet.
Can Dogs and Cats Be Allergic to Each Other?
Yes, it is possible for dogs to be allergic to cats and vice versa. It’s also possible for dogs to be allergic to other dogs and for cats to be allergic to other cats.
Pet-to-pet allergies aren’t diagnosed nearly as often as allergies to the substances mentioned above, but they’re entirely possible. Many people make the mistake of thinking that it’s a dog or cat’s hair itself that causes allergies, but in reality, it’s the proteins found in pet dander, saliva, and urine. Those proteins cause allergic reactions in humans who suffer from pet allergies, and they’re also the root cause of pet-to-pet allergies as well.
What are the Signs of a Pet-to-Pet Allergic Reaction?
Pet-to-pet allergic reactions closely resemble the signs of allergic reactions to other substances. Primarily, you’ll notice your pet scratching themselves—that’s because pets that suffer from allergies have an abnormal skin barrier that lets environmental allergens like dust, dirt, and dander be absorbed more easily. The skin responds by releasing histamine, which causes a feeling of itchiness.
Aside from intense scratching, a pet experiencing an allergic reaction may display other common signs like sneezing, runny nose or eyes, puffy or red eyes, and red, irritated skin. You might even notice bald patches or skin trauma, caused by your pet scratching themselves in an attempt to get relief.
What Do I Do to Solve the Problem?
If you suspect your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction, whether it’s to another pet in the house or any other substance, call your Black Hills veterinarian. Tests can be performed to confirm the presence of allergies. From there, allergy medications may be prescribed, or your vet may offer advice on using air purifiers and bathing your pet(s) with medicated shampoo to lessen your allergic pet’s exposure to allergens. Don’t worry—there are plenty of options before it comes to giving up one of your pets!
To learn more, contact your Black Hills vet clinic today.