How to Tell if Your Pet Has Allergies

Our pets can suffer from allergies just like people. When the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance (an allergen) as a threat and attacks it, this causes the symptoms we associate with allergies.
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How to Tell If Your Pet Has Allergies: Signs and Symptoms

Pets sometimes get allergy symptoms that look similar to a person’s – i.e. runny nose, itchy, red, and watery eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing.
However, most commonly, allergies in pets cause symptoms that differ from the symptoms of allergies in humans. These common symptoms of allergies in pets include:

Types of Allergies in Pets

Different types of allergies affect pets, and the treatment or lifestyle adjustments needed to address the allergies differ depending on what’s affecting your pet.
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Environmental Allergies

Some pets suffer from allergies to allergens in the environment such as pollen, dust, mold, smoke, or perfume.

Flea Allergies

Pets are commonly allergic to the saliva of fleas. If your pet has fleas, a simple medicated bath and parasite preventative can help.

Food Allergies

Pets also can be allergic to certain proteins or other ingredients in their food. An elimination diet can help determine the ingredient that’s affecting your pet and feeding your pet a special pet food formulated for allergies in the future can help.

Acute Allergies

Acute allergies are fairly rare and include those that induce a more serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. This reaction might include a rash, swelling, and difficulty breathing and requires immediate emergency veterinary attention.
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Pet Allergy Treatment With Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or symptoms of allergies in your pet, we strongly encourage you to schedule an examination with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital. Dr. Cooper can talk with you about your pet’s symptoms, environment, and diet while performing a thorough physical examination.
After determining the underlying cause of your pet’s allergy symptoms, we’ll work with you to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. There are a variety of treatments available for pets with allergies including both strategies to relieve symptoms and help address allergies at their root cause.
To learn more about pet allergies or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact Compassion Animal Hospital today.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

It’s normal for all dogs to lick their paws from time to time, as a part of their regular self-grooming routine. If yours, however, always seems to be licking or biting at its paws, it could be an indication of something deeper going on, and our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital in Woodland Park can help you get to the bottom of it. The following are some of the more common reasons why some dogs lick their paws excessively.
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6 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Be Licking Its Paws

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1. Food Allergies

Dogs can be allergic to different ingredients in their food, and one of the symptoms of allergies in pets is itchy inflamed skin and paws. If your dog’s licking its paws, and they appear red or swollen, allergies could be the cause.

2. Skin Irritation

Sometimes dry weather, hot pavement, or icy sidewalks can irritate the skin on your pet’s paws. You can soothe them with a dog-safe paw balm or consider protecting your dog’s paws with booties.

3. Musculoskeletal Pain

When a dog experiences persistent pain or discomfort, they instinctively lick, chew, or bite at the location of the pain. Excessive licking can indicate arthritis or an injury affecting the area.

4. Parasites

As your dog goes out exploring the world, they can easily pick up parasites like fleas and ticks on their paws, and the parasites can easily hide between your dog’s toes. Be sure to thoroughly check your pet for parasites after playing outdoors and always use a parasite preventative medication.
Our veterinarian can help you choose one that will be safe and effective for all the residents of your household.

5. Foxtails

Foxtails are barbed seeds from foxtail plants that pose a safety concern to dogs. Dogs can get these stuck in their fur, where they then work their way into the skin of the paw, causing pain, irritation, and even infection.

6. Anxiety or Boredom

Sometimes, bored or anxious pets will groom and lick themselves excessively. Try adding more exercise and enrichment to your pet’s day.
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Relief for Your Dog's Itching in Woodland Park

If your dog has been working on its paws more than usual or exhibiting any other unusual behavior or symptoms, we recommend scheduling a checkup with our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital. We can take a look at your dog’s paws, talk with you about your dog’s lifestyle and other signs or symptoms you might have noticed, and work with you to determine and treat the underlying cause.

How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheating

How to Tell if Your Pet is Overheating

In the summer, pets can become overheated quickly which puts them at risk of suffering heat exhaustion (heatstroke). If not addressed promptly, heatstroke can cause permanent organ damage and even be fatal.
It’s important to learn the following signs of an overheated pet, take action to gently cool your pet down, and seek veterinary care right away.
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Signs and Symptoms of Heatstroke in Pets

How to Cool Down an Overheated Pet

If you notice any of the above-listed signs or symptoms, take immediate action to cool down your pet gradually:
If you notice signs of heatstroke, contact our veterinarian right away.
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Don't Let Your Pet Overheat – How to Prevent Heatstroke

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The best cure for an overheated pet is to prevent it altogether. Pets can’t sweat to cool down as humans do, so it’s extremely important to take steps to prevent them from becoming too hot.
Keep your pet cool and hydrated by avoiding going outside during the hottest times.
Make sure outdoor pets have access to plenty of shade and cool, fresh drinking water.

Ask Our Woodland Park Veterinarian About an Emergency Plan for Your Pet

No one wants their pet to experience a medical emergency, but an emergency can happen when you least expect it. So, it’s always good to be prepared with an emergency care plan for your pet. To learn more about emergency care and make a plan for your dog or cat, we welcome you to talk with our veterinarian at Compassion Animal Hospital today.
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