When something is wrong with your pet, the world may seem upside down. Many frantic pet owners turn to the Internet for information. While there is a lot of good information out there, sometimes this can take you down a dark rabbit hole if you are not careful.
Animals can have allergic reactions just like people can. While your pooch is probably thankful that peanut butter allergies are not common in the canine world, a myriad of other things can trigger an allergic response. Insect stings, plant material, cleaning supplies, or even medications and vaccines can cause trouble.
In animals just as in people, allergic reactions in pets can range from mild to life threatening. They occur when the body releases a substance called histamine from its cells into the bloodstream in response to a foreign particle.
Humans often experience respiratory reactions when they suffer a severe allergic response. In dogs and cats, the anaphylactic organ is the gastrointestinal tract, so allergic reactions many times have vomiting and/or diarrhea as a component.
Some signs of an allergic reaction in dogs or cats can include:
- Puffy face
- Itchy, warm skin
- Sudden vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden collapse
- Abnormal heart rhythm
Pet poisonings can result when a dog or cat ingests something they shouldn’t. Toxin exposures can be a little more complicated because their effects depend on exactly what the the toxin is and how much the pet was exposed to.
For instance, a dog who ingested Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, may collapse due to a life threatening drop in blood sugar or experience liver problems due to the toxin. A cat who nibbles on a lily in a flower arrangement is at high risk for having kidney failure.
If you think that your pet has been exposed to a potential toxin, it’s best to call us right away so that we can assess the situation. These types of situations are considered an emergency, and the sooner we can begin treatment the better.
Deciding if It’s an Allergic Reaction or Pet Poisoning
Many times unless you saw the exposure to an allergen or poison, it can be difficult to tell what the cause of a pet’s symptoms are. That’s where we come in. Our expert staff is trained to thoroughly assess all patients and come to a diagnosis and treatment plan based on that information.
Many times testing, such as blood work, is necessary. Depending on the suspected diagnosis, medications may be administered or supportive care recommended.
Our goal, be it an allergic reaction or pet poisoning, is to get your pet home to you again safe and healthy. While Dr. Google may have a lot of potential answers, we have your pet’s best interest at heart.