The Never-ending Itch: Allergies in Pets
Most of us who suffer from allergies rue the seasonal change when the pollen is high and everything is blooming. While beautiful, the misery of seasonal allergies can be felt with constant sneezing, itching, watery eyes, headaches, and so forth. Your pet may be feeling the change in the weather, too, with their own reactions to allergens.
Allergies in pets are a common problem The team Parkside Animal Hospital is here to help explain this common condition in pets and what you can do to help ease the itch.
The Signs of Allergies in Pets
Although cats can develop environmental allergies, called atopy, dogs are more often diagnosed with this condition. In fact, 10% of all dogs suffer from some form of seasonal allergies. Our pets have more sensitive immune systems than our own, so it is no surprise many pets have allergic reactions to things in the environment.
How your pet reacts to these allergens may not seem like what you’d consider an allergic response. We’re used to our own symptoms, like sneezing, whereas pets develop symptoms that typically affect the skin.
Symptoms of allergies in pets are:
- Itchy skin
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Dryness, scaling of the skin
- Eye infection
- Bumps on skin
- Loss of fur
- Changes in appetite
Your pet may be very uncomfortable during an allergic reaction and can be prone to infection. The good news is that we can diagnose your pet by isolating the allergens causing the problem through allergy testing. Along with this, we can provide medications to help reduce and treat the symptoms.
You can also make some changes at home to relieve some of your pet’s symptoms and the effects of allergies. Some simple steps you can take include:
- Bathe your pet weekly in a hypoallergenic shampoo.
- Speak to your veterinarian about the most nutritious diet for your pet to support their immune system.
- Keep windows and doors closed and use a HEPA filter for your air conditioning unit or as a stand-alone air purifier.
- Frequently vacuum the home and launder your pet’s bedding or bed each week.
- Close windows in the car and use the air when you travel with your pet.
- Wipe off your pet’s feet when you return from being outdoors or use dog booties.
If you suspect your pet has seasonal allergies, please bring them to see us. There is no reason for your pet to suffer and scratch, since we can treat the discomfort. Please contact us.