Seasonal Allergies and Pets
As humans we can commiserate with each other over our stuffy noses and itchy eyes, but our pets also suffer a form of hay fever that becomes rampant in the spring. In cats and dogs, this allergic reaction is called atopy, or allergic dermatitis.
What are some of the main contributing factors to seasonal allergies in pets?
- tree pollens
- grass pollens
- plant fibres
- fleas (yes, pets with seasonal allergies are also often allergic to the parasites)
Differently than you and I, pets react in an entirely different way, most often exhibiting persistently itchy skin. If you see felix of fido scratching, licking and biting in a never ending quest for relief, they probably are suffering from allergies. This constant attention to their skin often results in very painful sores that cause infection.
Common signs in pets of seasonal allergies include:
- excessive scratching, licking and/or biting
- rubbing against furniture and legs
- rubbing their face on the floor, particularly on carpet
- inflamed and tender areas of the skin
- redness of body tissue, most often seen in the lips/gums, eyes, chin and paws
- hair loss
- open sores and hot spots
- irritated ears, sometimes smelly if a yeast or bacterial infection is present
If you see these signs of suffering from seasonal allergies, a visit to your local veterinarian is in order to help them control their itching before the sores manifest. Your veterinarian will help you devise a care plan for your pet, to alleviate their discomfort and manage their environmental exposure.
Some ways to help your pet with seasonal allergies:
- avoiding the allergen as much as possible, doing your best to shut it out of your home so your pet can find comfort indoors
- soothing baths for the body and feet with a moisturising grain-free shampoo & conditioner to calm the skin and wash away the allergens that are on the skin and remove them from their coat, which can otherwise trap them close to the body
- balanced diet specific to your pet’s needs, consult your veterinarian
- vacuum carpets and furniture to remove allergens
- wash your pet’s bedding and toys
If you feel that your pet may be suffering from allergies or if you know that they have in the past, consult your veterinarian today to see how you can help your pet enjoy the warmer weather too.