Is Your Pet Struggling With Seasonal Allergies?
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
Spring is a beautiful time of year, but also the start of environmental allergy season for a lot of pets. Let's take a look at some of the most common signs of seasonal allergies and why even a little itching could warrant a trip to the vet.
1. Itchiness. It's not just in humans. If your pet is consistently scratching or biting at themselves more than usual, it may be a sign that they are struggling with seasonal allergies. Some pets may even itch certain areas to the point of being raw, red, and inflamed - which creates a concern for secondary skin infection. If these areas become infected, your pet may show signs of lethargy and loss of appetite and need to be seen immediately.
2. Increased Shedding and Hair Loss. Environmental allergies tend to dry out the skin, so you may also see an increase in your pet's shedding as well as a few patches of hair loss. It is also not uncommon to see an increase in dandruff as well due to the flakiness of dry skin.
3. Constant Paw Licking. Paws are what come in contact with the outside earth and pollen the most, so it is no surprise that your pet's paws can become one of the itchiest areas when allergy season rolls around. You may also see your pet rubbing their face and ears more often as well.
4. Ear Infections. While skin infections are most commonly associated with environmental allergies, ear infections are a close second. Typical signs of an ear infection are red, waxy ears and increased head shaking. Ear Infections are exceptionally common in dogs with floppier or wrinklier ears - such as the Bassett Hound, Cocker Spaniel, or Chinese Shar-pei. These infections can take awhile to treat in pets, so it is important to get yours seen at the earliest onset.
5. Scooting or Licking Anal Area. Allergies push histamines out through all of your pet's extremities, so it is possible your dog or cat may feel some discomfort in their anal area. Scooting is also a sign of an anal gland issue in dogs though, so it is best to have them seen in general if you see them exhibiting this behavior.
6. Respiratory Signs such as sneezing, coughing, or wheezing. While these signs are more common in cats, it is important to monitor any pet's breathing if you feel they may be dealing with seasonal allergies. A little bit of sneezing is okay, but if your pet seems to be having trouble breathing, this is an urgent problem that need to be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
There are a number of treatment options for seasonal allergies in pets. Some only need a medicated shampoo to help wash off the pollen, while others need daily medications such as Apoquel or Zyrtec. When it comes to seasonal allergies, every pet is different and will require a personalized treatment plan. If you think your pet is struggling with seasonal allergies, give us a call to schedule an appointment and get your pet on the road to relief!
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