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Pet Allergies: When an Itch Means Something More

Ever think your pet might be allergic to you? While that may be a rare scenario, it’s increasingly clear that cats and dogs, like their human companions, can have allergies.

Cornell University’s Baker Institute for Animal Health classifies potential pet allergies into three categories: atopic dermatitis caused by pollen, dust, mold and other natural irritants; food allergies triggered by meat, dairy, eggs and other foods; and respiratory allergies mainly found in cats.

The institute says the signs for pet allergies include excessive itching, sneezing, tears, rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in cats, a form of asthma.

If your furry friends exhibit any of these symptoms, take them to your veterinarian for evaluation and testing. Once an allergy is determined, you can help your pet by avoiding the allergen, changing its diet or using medication prescribed by your veterinarian to have her back to full health in no time.

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