Allergies: Arguably the Most Common Reason for Veterinary Visits

By Dr. Lisa Lippman

Dr. Lisa Lippman, DVM, is one of the most followed and socially influential veterinarians in the United States. She is nationally respected by media outlets such as Dr. Oz, Inside Edition, and Good Day, New York as a go-to source for expertise in pet health and safety. She shares her experiences with her friends, followers, and fans by posting at @DrLisaLippman on Instagram. This post was written by Dr. Lisa and given a board certified seal of approval by specialist @thedermvet.

Allergies can appear at any age. Even as young as 6 months old! However, they most commonly present in dogs around 1-3 years and older. To break it down, there are three different types of allergies - environmental (also called atopy or atopic dermatitis), food allergies and flea allergies. However, they don’t always stay in their lanes! Meaning an animal can have a combination of these making a full workup very important.

💐Environmental allergies may have a seasonality to them (be worse at the same time each year). Seasonal culprits include pollens and mold. However, allergens such as dust mites and danders can lead to year round symptoms. Your dog may start excessively licking their paws, rub their face and scratch their belly among other things. Ear and skin infections often occur as a secondary issue. Treatment can range from topical, oral and injectable therapy. This includes allergy testing your dog for allergy shots just like humans!🌷

🍗Another cause of allergies can be food related - usually a reaction to a specific protein found in food. The most common trigger foods include chicken, beef, dairy and eggs. Does it surprise you to hear it’s the foods that are fed most often? I always hear “but they’ve been eating this food their whole life!”. That’s exactly right, the more we are exposed to something the more likely we are to have an allergic reaction to it. Food allergies may cause chronic ear or skin infections, hair loss, or GI upset such as vomiting and diarrhea. Food allergies usually exhibit as steady symptoms all year round and won’t fluctuate based on time of year.

🐜The last major cause of allergies can be related to flea or external parasites. It’s important to keep our pets on year round flea prevention and if you notice your pet is itchy, consider a flea check and preventive medication right away. It is very common for pets to have issues with parasites (yes, even fleas!)

For more facts and tips on how to keep your dog healthy and safe, follow Dr. Lisa Lippman @DrLisaLippman on Instagram and learn more at drlisalippman.com