By: Kym Mirabella
Spring is a beautiful time of year, except when you are plagued by allergies caused by the massive pollens, grasses, ragweed, molds, and other allergens that are released into the air. It’s a common problem with humans, but did you ever consider your four-legged friends can suffer from seasonal allergies too…
With that in mind, let’s explore the signs of allergies in pets and review suggestions to ease their discomfort.
We gained insight from Dr. Ryan Crowe, Head Veterinarian for the Anderson Humanity Society and Associate Veterinarian at Hendricks Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Crowe explained, “Since allergies in pets most commonly affect the skin, be on the lookout for chewing or scratching at the ears, face, feet, body or tail/rear end. This can lead to hair loss, scabs or rashes and odors as secondary infections develop. Allergies are a disease process to diagnose and manage because not all animals respond the same way to treatment.”
Dr. Crowe continued, “Keep in mind, there’s no cure for allergies – only good management. However, with patience and a solid plan, we can help your pet feel much better and more comfortable. And aside from environmental allergens, there are also food (protein) allergies and flea allergies that still primarily affect the skin.”
If your pet’s symptoms are mild, Dr. Crowe suggested the following approaches at home:
Wipe down your pet after being outside. Focus on the paws and belly. Use unscented baby wipes.
Remove allergens from your home with frequent cleaning and vacuuming.
Run a HEPA filter. May help some but keep in mind, allergens will make their way into your home unless you live in a vacuum. Some allergens are already in your home!
Make sure your pet is on a regular parasite preventive.
Bathe your pet in a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian.
Administer an over-the-counter antihistamine, as recommended by your veterinarian.
If your pet’s allergies are more severe, contact your veterinarian.