Recognizing Allergy Symptoms

Let’s talk symptoms

Allergies are a progressive disease – meaning, if left untreated, ailments can grow worse. An evaluation from your veterinarian can lower the chances of their symptoms developing into larger health problems. Allergy symptoms can be present throughout the year or only during a particular season.

Common Allergy Symptoms in Companion Animals

The most common symptom of allergy is itchy skin, which can lead to:

  • Scratching, biting and chewing of the skin
  • Excessive paw licking
  • Excessive face rubbing
  • Excessive grooming
  • Hair loss
  • Recurrent ear or skin infections

The usual locations of the itching are the belly, feet, base of tail and face, especially around the eyes, mouth and ears. Occasionally, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing can be observed.

Common Allergy Symptoms in Horses

The symptoms of Insect-bite hypersensitivity (allergy to insects) allergy are seasonal and are seen during the warmer months of the year. Itching, broken hairs and crusts are first noticed on the mane and tail region, which then progress to affect the rump. The face, neck and shoulders may also be involved.

The most common sign of an allergy is itchy skin, This can lead to:

  • Scratching, biting and rubbing
  • Broken hairs and hair loss
  • Red or hard skin bumps
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Wound formation
  • Thickening of the skin

The usual places for itching are the mane and tail region, and the rump, face, neck, shoulders and legs. Symptoms of atopy present on the face, legs and torso. Horses that are allergic to indoor allergens (e.g. house-dust mites, storage mites, dander and mold) mainly show symptoms when they are stabled. Seasonal symptoms are caused by outdoor allergens, like pollen. It many cases, horses are allergic to more than one of these allergens. Symptoms may be present for the whole year or only during a particular season, depending on which allergens trigger the reaction. Biting midges and pollen are seasonal, but food allergy is present throughout the year.

Is your companion animal or horse showing allergy symptoms?

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, please visit your vet for an allergy check-up. There are other diseases that cause similar signs. For this reason, your vet will start by excluding all other potential causes, such as fleas, scabies and infections. If the allergy symptoms remain after excluding or treating other causes, the next step is to exclude the possibility of food allergy, then to identify environmental allergens that may be causing the allergy. This is done using quick and simple blood test – SPOT Platinum+ Test.

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