Allergic Reaction or Pet Poisoning? How to Tell

A small, brown fluffy dog sits in focus against a backdrop of blurred leaves.

It is downright stressful when your pet is sick; and even more so when you think something might be seriously wrong. If you have ever found yourself agonizing about whether to bring your pet in during emergency hours, you know what we mean.

Sometimes pets have emergencies; and it’s not always possible to tell (at home) how serious something might be or even what is going on. That is where Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care Center comes in! Don’t worry too much about whether it is an allergic reaction or pet poisoning or something else – give us a call and let us figure it out.

Allergic Reactions in Pets

Just like people, pets can have allergic reactions. Similarly to us as well, pet allergic reactions can range from mild and annoying to life threatening.

Allergic reactions in pets can occur from things like food, medications, environmental factors like mold or pollen, insect stings, or even injections. When an allergic reaction occurs, a substance called histamine is released into the body. This can have multiple effects including:

  • Itching (may be localized or all over)
  • Redness
  • Hives 
  • Facial swelling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Shock (anaphylaxis)

Unlike us, pets do not typically have respiratory symptoms when they have an allergic reaction. Instead of having their throat close on them, they may experience violent gastrointestinal symptoms. 

Anaphylaxis is the most serious form of an allergic reaction and a true emergency. If not treated promptly, anaphylaxis can result in death.

Allergic reactions may require minimal treatment, such as a cold compress or a dose of diphenhydramine (always call for approval and dosage before administering to your pet). More serious allergic reactions may require steroids, epinephrine, or intravenous fluids to manage shock.

Pet Poisoning

Pet poisonings are another common animal emergency. Our furry friends love to explore the world with their mouths, which sometimes results in them ingesting things that they shouldn’t.

Depending on the type of toxin ingested, severity and resulting symptoms can vary a lot. Because one of the more common results of toxin ingestion can be vomiting and/or diarrhea, iit can be hard to distinguish a toxin exposure from an allergic reaction.

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested something dangerous, time is crucial. The sooner that we can evaluate what they consumed and how serious the poisoning may be, the sooner we can get to work. Pet poisonings are one area that, when it comes to care, sooner is always better than later. 

Allergic Reaction or Pet Poisoning, We Are Here to Help

There is no such thing as a stupid question, and we feel that the same advice applies to potential pet emergencies. Time is important to good outcomes for our pet patients, and we would rather be safe than sorry.

Animal Medical Hospital is there for you around the clock every day so that there is no need to sit and wonder if it’s an allergic reaction or pet poisoning. Come on in so that we can get your pet feeling better as soon as possible.