Spring is finally here and so is allergy season! For us that means runny nose, respiratory issues and itchy watery eyes. What about your furry friends? Your pets are just as susceptible to allergies as us. However, the symptoms can sometimes be difficult to notice. The most common symptoms from seasonal allergies usually manifest as very itchy, inflamed skin.
What signs should I look for in my pet?
Dogs and cats exhibit different symptoms than us humans, when allergies affect them. They can have multiple symptoms at once causing a severe reaction, or just one symptom for a milder reaction.If you notice any of these signs in your pet please schedule an exam with your veterinarian:
- Chewing or licking at paws
- Raw spots or hot spots from excessive chewing/licking
- Inflamed skin
- Red eyes
How can I help my pet?
You should always consult with your veterinarian before trying any at home remedies as your pet’s allergies may be more severe the symptoms are letting on. A few easy ways to reduce the impact of allergens to your pet’s at home can include:
- Keeping feet and fur clean – wiping your pet down, especially their feet, after coming in from outside to remove potential allergens from lingering on your pet, can help reduce reactions.
- Keep your pet’s bedding and toys allergen free – wash your pet’s toys and bedding every few days to reduce the allergen count and keep your pet’s favorite things fresh.
How will my Veterinarian help my pet?
A checkup with your veterinarian can also rule out other causes to your pet’s symptoms such as food allergies or bacterial infections. In such cases your veterinarian may prescribe a hypoallergenic diet or antibiotics. Seasonal allergies are usually treated in the following ways:
- Using prescription flea prevention to combat flea allergies
- With antihistamines to control your pet’s immune response to the allergens
- In some cases prescription antibiotics may be needed to treat skin issues that have been caused from your pets licking and chewing. Prescription antibacterial and antifungal shampoos are also supplemented.
- Oral and injectable steroids may be used in cases that do not respond well to other treatments.
Allergies can pop up at any time so be sure to monitor your pet for changes in behavior during allergy season. Call to schedule a checkup with your veterinarian to control your pet’s allergies before they take control of your pet!
BY: Kristen Waters / Dr. Marjorie Farris