Scritchy-Scratch: What You Need to Know About Seasonal Allergies in Pets
Although winter is still firmly in place in Chicagoland, most of us are looking forward to spring with more than a little excitement. The arrival of warmer weather also signals the arrival of seasonal allergies for many of us, and as temps rise we find ourselves making our annual trip to the drugstore to load up on tissues and allergy meds.
Pets can suffer from seasonal allergies as well, but with different symptoms than in humans. Do you know how to spot seasonal allergies in pets? The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are here to help you learn the symptoms of allergies so you can help your pet sooner rather than later.
Seasonal Allergies in Pets
When human allergy sufferers are exposed to an allergen, we typically experience respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and scratchy throat. Allergies manifest mainly as skin and ear issues in pets, including:
- Scratching, chewing, or excessively licking the paws, ears, face, armpits, and groin
- Head shaking
- Roughened red or black skin
- Redness, bumps, or pimples on the skin
- Hair loss
- Red or inflamed ears/ear infections
- Skin infections
- An unpleasant odor
The excessive licking and scratching of an area can cause hot spots, or raw patches on the skin. If left untreated, hot spots can lead to secondary infections and a lot of needless suffering for a pet.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Seasonal Pet Allergies
There are a variety of ways to test for allergies in pets, including blood tests, skin tests, and scratch panels. Your veterinarian will discuss the options with you and help you to come up with the treatment plan that meets your pet’s needs.
The treatment of seasonal allergies in pets is multi-faceted, as there is typically not a “one size fits all” cure.
Common methods of treating pet allergies and its symptoms are:
- Oral medications, such as antihistamines or steroids
- Prescription shampoo
- Specialized diets
- Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation
- Allergen specific immunotherapy (allergy shots)
- Avoidance of allergens
Helping Your Pet at Home
Some simple ways you can help to relieve your pet’s seasonal allergy symptoms include:
- Bathe your pet regularly using a hypoallergenic shampoo as recommended by your veterinarian.
- Soak your pet’s paws each day to ease inflammation and prevent allergens from being tracked into the home.
- Clean and vacuum your home frequently to prevent the buildup of allergens.
- Change furnace filters often.
- Provide your pet with the highest quality nutrition possible, and talk with your veterinarian about fatty acid supplementation for your pet.
It’s Almost Here!
Seasonal allergies in pets are no fun for them or us, but with proper diagnosis and a good plan for managing the symptoms, you can relieve your pet’s suffering just in time for the onset of spring. Give The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center a call if you have any questions or need to set up an appointment for your pet.