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Pets Can Suffer From Allergies Too

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) --- There are a lot of people who are allergic to dogs, cats and other pets. But did you know that pets can have allergies, too?

Milo, 3, is playing like a puppy now, but that wasn't the case until recently.

"He was always scratching, itching, chewing his paws, his ears were always itchy," said Melissa Hui, Milo's owner.

Hui knew Milo was really suffering, but she'd tried everything to help him and the cost of treating him was starting to add up.

"Definitely more than a thousand," said Hui. "We kept paying for medicine, the visit, and then to go back again and be prescribed additional drugs."

Eventually, she took Milo to a vet who specializes in dermatology. After extensive testing, it turns out Milo was suffering from allergies.

"Some of these cases can be very severe," said Dr. Mark Macina, an animal dermatology specialist.

Milo now gets weekly allergy shots, which you can usually give to your pet right at home or you can have the vet do it.

So how do you know if your pet has allergies? Veterinarians test animals for allergies much like the way people are tested.

"By doing intradermal skin testing, determining what the patient is allergic to, and then based on that test actually tailor-make the vaccines," says Dr. Macina.

There are more than 50 substances that can be tested.

"A dog can get allergic to the same things we do. Indoor things like dust, dust mites, mold, human dander, other pet dander," says Dr. Macina.

Barbara Hoffman also brought her 7-year-old dog, Coco, in to see the vet.

"She was chewing her feet and they were red because she was chewing the fur off," said Hoffman.

Coco turned out to be allergic to mold and other substances.

"There's no overnight fix, but with time, we can get your pet where you want it be," said Dr. Macina.

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