Do animals have allergies?

Obviously many people do, but do animals? Do dingos sneeze from hay fever? Do elephants break out in rashes if they brush up against the wrong kind of tree? Do walruses have to avoid peanut butter?

My dog got an allergic reaction from a vaccination when she was a puppy. She gets Benadryl now before every shot.

Same with one of my old ferrets and vaccinations.

I recently met a rabbit at my rabbit boarder’s house who has some kind of environmental allergy; poor thing was letting out an occasional sneeze.

My mother’s Newfie seems to be allergic to cat dander. When Mom moved into her current house, I helped her rip out all of the carpet and replace it with laminate. However, Ma decided that there was no point in bothering with the carpet in the guest room closet. It was unstained and out of the way, so just leave it, she said.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I’m still still sniffling and sneezing in the house, thanks to the previous owners’ cats and that scrap of carpet. No worries there, until the stoopit dog’s sniffles don’t improve. That’s when Mom gave the go-ahead for me to replace the flooring in the closet! (Nice priorities there, Ma!)

I’ve known horses, dogs, and cats with various allergies. Yes, they certainly can develop them.

What were they allergic to? Could you tell?

Anyone know of any *non-*domesticated animals with allergies?

According to website, dogs can be allergic to fleas, environmental allergens, or food.

I suspect zookeepers would be most familiar with this. I don’t see why wild animals wouldn’t have allergies, considering they (IIRC) have the same histamine system that we do.

YES. I think flea allergy is the most common, followed by food allergy.

My dog gets watery eyes when we are outdoors more than, say, 30 minutes. The vet thinks it is pollen-related similar to human respiratory allergies. Two out of the four cats I’ve had have been allergic to flea bites. Even one bite would send them into a cycle of itching themselves raw that would only stop with a steroid shot at the vet. We thought the youngest cat had only the really reactive flea allergy dermatitis, but it appears it is food related. We have him on special expensive single protein source food, and it’s improved his situation, but he still keeps two small spots on his head raw from itching. (I was surprised to learn that many cats are allergic to chicken, and I have not found a cat food that doesn’t include some chicken product, even the super-premium brands. We had to get a brand developed specifically for allergy, right now Blue Buffalo Basics Duck and Green Pea.)

All the animals seem to do better when I vacuum twice a week and run the HEPA filter often. All things considered, I’m not surprised I adopted little nerd cats and dog with allergies. I threaten to dress them up in sweater vests and fake glasses repaired with tape.

Edit - Upon reviewing the OP, I see he is directing the query more toward wild animals. I think wild animals who suffer allergies which impede them significantly might not survive to reproduce and thus wouldn’t pass on their allergies. Zoo animals would probably have the same problems as domesticated, I imagine.

As noted, fleas are a comon allergy for cats and dogs.

I knew a horse that was allergic to type of common pasture plant - don’t remember the specifics anymore, but we had to get hay for her that didn’t contain any of it, a real pain in the butt. So basically she had food allergy. Poor things eyes would tear up, her nose would run, she’s sneeze and wheeze… really made her miserable.

I’m sure they exist, why wouldn’t they? It’s just that wild animals aren’t as easily observed, and of course, they’re more likely to die of a severe reaction.

There is a veterinarian dermatologist we go to for our dog’s skin allergies. The first thing they did was a typical skin-prick test. You can see the shaved area in this picture; the problem substances started showing a few days after that picture was taken.

According to my vet when cats get allergies they don’t get the sniffles or runny noses, they get skin conditions.

It is common for cats to become allergic to corn, wheat, or soy after they reach about seven to eight years; those are the main ingredients of grocery store cat food, even those like Iams and Science Diet that we think of as premium brands.

When my cat started scratching open the scabby bumps around his head the vet suggested I try one of the restricted diet foods. Putting him on the green pea and duck stuff cleared him right up. I was surprised to find that the pet stores don’t even sell Iams, Purina, etc … a whole aisle of cat food brands I had never even heard of … all without corn, wheat or soy, which, it turns out, isn’t good for cats – it’s only in there because it is cheap.

Not only can animals get allergies, but it was learned from them that, when raised in a germ-free environment, their allergies become much more pronounced.

(As an aside, this phenomenon seems to apply in humans, insofar as kids who go to day care or who are otherwise exposed to lots of germs when young, develop fewer allergies/asthma later on in life - [Representative Cite]. In other words, it’s as if one’s immune system needs to be stimulated and challenged by germs during youth, to prevent it from getting into mischief down the road.)

With susceptibility to allergies being at least partly genetic, it may be bred out of non domesticated animals. It would be a big negative for survival and reproduction. Many of the common canine health problems are less common in dogs bred by service dog schools. I may say more if this is moved to another forum.

Horses are known to get food allergies, though it’s rare.

Besides the reactions to toxic weeds (locoweed, alyssum, hemlock, jimson weed, foxglove, etc.) which affect nearly all horses, individual horses can have specific allergies.

Common allergens for some horses are: apples (yes, really!), barley, beets, corn, flax, molasses, oats, soybeans, and wheat.

Typical symptoms are hives & itching, digestive upsets, weight loss, and fatigue.

One of the traditional treatments for food allergies in horses is feeding slippery elm. But this shouldn’t be done more than a couple of months, because then horses tend to develop an allergy to it!

Conscientious/working/stock dog breeders generally will make an effort to breed out allergic tendencies too.

Flea allergies in cats and dogs are quite common, followed by inhalant allergies, with food allergies counting for roughly 10 percent.

It can be tricky (and expensive) figuring out the responsible allergens in affected cats and dogs…a mixture of a process of elimination, observation (ie atopic/flea allergies are seasonal in areas with four seasons) and dermatological tests.

I knew a horse that had an allergy to sunlight

He was fine if he was out in the field, but if he was made to stand outside somewhere (say if someone was grooming him, or he was being shod) on a sunny day, he’d get sick - his coat would stand on end, he’d get a “rash”, and become lethargic.

Never seen, or heard, anything like it since…

My dog has respiratory allergies - my vet suggested benydryl.

But I wouldn’t call some of those “allergic reactions”, when they actually do contain a substance that IS toxic and pathologic by itself. I know specifically locoweed produces swainsonine, and that by itself causes damage to cells.

Elendil, they probably have the capacity to have the same sort of allergies as other domestic animals, yes. I’m thinking dingoes (going by comparative pathology) could possibly be allergic to fleas (if found in their environment), just as dogs are. But they are likely not observed closely for that.

It is also possible that, with all the other inflammatory things going on in wildlife (ie, parasites, infections), a specific allergic reaction may go unnoticed when the others are found during necropsy.

FWIW, I used to take one of my dogs to a canine allergist in Akron. Yes, there is such a thing. Not many, though, which is why I had to drive to Akron.