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Allergies take their toll on household pets

8 Apr 2011, 10:41

Published: 08 Apr 2011 16:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Apr 2011 10:41 GMT+02:00

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Red eyes and itchy noses are no longer only problems for humans, according to veterinarians.

Pollens floating in the spring air are increasingly causing more allergies for pets, which are starting to experience itchy noses, red eyes and skin problems, according to a report in the Swiss daily 20 Minuten.

According to the latest veterinary research, about one out of ten dogs has allergic symptoms.

Allergies to pollens, food and even dust mites appear to be on the rise, with a total of 151 allergic cats and dogs diagnosed in 2010 by the Department for Small Animal Medicine at the University of Zurich.

Vets say one of the reasons for the increased number of allergic cases in pets could be that the animals are spending less time outdoors.

Cats have been found to develop asthma, while dogs more often suffer itchy patches on their skin.

"I was so sorry for Djengo. He scratched himself until he almost bled," the paper quoted owner Heinz Läuppi from Neerach, near Zurich, as saying.

A test at the local animal clinic showed that the Welsh Terrier was suffering from a food allergy. The animal was since then put on a different diet and the problem was solved, the paper said.

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Skin itching can lead a dog to scratch or bite on its own skin, causing injury and possible infections.

Shampoos and lotions can alleviate the problem, but vets urge pet owners to bring their animals to the doctor as soon as the symptoms appear, as allergies tend to become chronic and are difficult to treat, the paper said.

The Animal Clinic in Zurich is holding a free seminar on animal allergies on April 14th, the report said.

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