When one thinks of allergies, they usually talk about themselves or a child, but did you know that “furry” family members can also suffer from allergic conjunctivitis or “hay fever”?
Well, if not…
Then you might be in for a surprise which is why we here at IndulgeYourPet decided to write an article all about allergic conjunctivitis in pets just so that folks can become more aware of the potential issue this might cause for your pet’s eyes, as well as shed some light on the fact that there are a host of medical problems that can potentially affect your pet.
Suppose you are looking for a new pet or have recently adopted a puppy or kitten. In that case, you may want to seriously take a look at what options you may have in purchasing a pet insurance policy on them so that if you find yourself being the proud new owner of a “furry” little bundle of joy that happens to suffer from allergies, you’re not going to be overwhelmed by vet bills in addition to a whole lot of sniffling and sneezing.
What is “allergic conjunctivitis”?
Allergic conjunctivitis is a medical term that describes an eye inflammation caused explicitly by some environmental factor acting as an allergen. Now it’s important to remember that an allergen can be just about anything foreign to the body that causes one’s immune system to react.
Some common allergens that could potentially affect your dog or cat (or even you) may include:
- Pet dander,
- Mold spores,
- Chemical scents in cleaning supplies or perfumes,
Symptoms associated with allergic conjunctivitis
Common symptoms that you’ll likely encounter with a patient suffering from allergic conjunctivitis may include:
- An inflammation of the eye, eyelids, and Meibomian glands.
- Inflammation of the conjunctiva is the term used to describe the mucous membrane covering the front of the eye and extending behind the eyelids themselves.
- Infected eyes will also exhibit a watery discharge or appear “watery” (watery eyes).
One important distinction that should be made is that even though allergic conjunctivitis is often referred to as “pink eye,” allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious like “traditional” pink eye is.
This is because…
Allergic conjunctivitis is not an “eye infection” caused by some bacterial organism or bacterial infection. Instead, allergic conjunctivitis is caused by one’s body reacting to an allergen, not an actual condition.
This is why…
One of the first things that your veterinarian will want to do is quickly determine why your “furry companion” is having an issue with their eye (red eye) and perhaps even examine any “eye discharge” to rule out the possibility of an actual eye infection. To accomplish this, your veterinarian may order one of many possible tests to determine the cause of your pet’s discomfort.
Tests such as:
- A conjunctival smear exam.
- A skin smear exam.
- A Schirmer tear test determines whether or not your pet suffers from “dry eye.”
- Etc, etc.…
At this point…
We always like to remind our readers that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not medical professionals and are certainly not veterinarians. We’re just a bunch of folks who care about animals and try to share our knowledge about animals with our readers.
That said, however…
If you currently have a pet suffering from some “eye condition,” please don’t rely on this or any other information you read online to decide what you should do for them.
You must take your loved one to a qualified veterinarian and have them checked out by a professional!
Now once you do take your pet to the veterinarian, and it has been determined that your dog or cat is simply suffering from some allergy, the treatment will typically involve the administration of some eye ointment (or artificial tears) that will be used to help alleviate the current symptoms as well as a trying to develop a “game plan” on how you as the owner can try to limit your loved ones exposure to the allergen that is causing the problem in the first place.
For immediate relief, pet owners can also apply cold compresses to their pet’s eyes and face (assuming that they will allow that).
The problem is…
Sometimes there is tiny one can do about eliminating your animal’s exposure to the causal agent, which may mean that treatment for your loved one may be a continual process that can equal pretty expensive vet bills over time. For this reason, we here at IndulgeYourPet typically recommend that everyone considering purchasing an animal at least take a few moments and explore what it might cost to buy a pet insurance policy.
You never know what type of medical issues your pet may have throughout its lifetime, and knowing that you have an insurance policy in place that could “shield” you from costly bills is always a great feeling!
For more information about who we feel currently offers the best pet insurance policies in the industry, we encourage you to check out our article: Best Pet Insurance Companies.