During springtime in Atlanta, you can usually count on one given every year: POLLEN! Lots of it! You often find yourself sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, and general all-around yuckiness. Unfortunately, our pets can suffer from allergies too. You want to know the symptoms so you can help them feel better. We all hate seeing our pet’s suffering from allergies and other ailments, which is why the sooner we know what’s going on, the sooner we can help them feel better.
What are the signs of allergies in my pet?
We so wish our pets could talk to us and tell us exactly how they’re feeling and what’s wrong with them. Just like in humans, diagnosing allergies in pets can be tricky. Sometimes they get a localized skin irritation on one specific area of their body, but other times it’s more generalized and shows up all over.
Here are some symptoms to watch for.
• Itchy, Watery eyes
• Itchy or inflamed skin
• Hot Spots or Hives
• Swelling anywhere on the face and ears
• Vomiting and/or diarrhea
• Constant licking, biting or scratching
• Rubbing their faces with their paws
• Loss of fur
You’ll notice that these symptoms vary greatly. Some are visible issues, while others are more intestinal and affect the digestive area.
Top types of pet allergies and their treatment
Just like people, our pets can suffer from a variety of allergies. Determining which is the culprit will help treat them faster and help them feel better sooner so we can get more snuggles and kisses from them! Sometimes a good bath and groom can help remove the dust from your pets fur and relieve the situation, but many times a trip to the veterinarian is needed to properly diagnose and treat the allergy.
Fleas – Some pets are very allergic to flea bites. Just one flea bite can cause a pet to scratch an area for days, which can cause sores and loss of fur. Fortunately, this allergy is usually easy to diagnose when using a flea comb. You can see the fleas and their flea dirt. Your veterinarian may recommend treating your pet, your home, and yard.
Airborne – Just like us, our pets can suffer from airborne allergies from mold, ragweed, dust mites, dander, plant and tree pollens. These can be difficult to determine the culprit, but make a note if you see that it’s a seasonal issue and happens the same time every year. Talk with your veterinarian about the best course of action for your pet. Treatment can include removing the culprit from the environment, medications, and even special shampoos.
Contact – Similar to Airborne allergies, these occur when your pets comes into contact with an irritant that attached to their fur and they then get itchy and scratchy. Make a note if your pet visits a different place and comes back itchy. You may take them on a new hiking trail and find that they brushed up against a new irritant for them. Contact allergies often include carpet fibers, grass, weeds, or mulch. Did you put down a new mulch this season? Making sure to bathe your pet after contact is essential and sometimes, a topical ointment may be prescribed by your veterinarian.
Food – Food allergies can be a common problem for our pets, but often very difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can range from an upset stomach to itchy skin. If you suspect a food allergy in your pet, consult with your veterinarian. They may begin with a restrictive diet to determine the specific food culprit.
No More Pet Itching!
The first course of action for pet allergies is to see your veterinarian so they can accurately diagnose the issue and get your pet on the right treatment regimen. Making a few notes about when you noticed the first sign of irritation could be very helpful in your veterinarian diagnosing and treating your pet.
Often the first step can be to make sure your pet’s fur is clean and free of allergens. If your pet needs a bath and groom to help with their allergy problem, contact us to schedule your next grooming appointment. Make sure to let us know if your pet has any skin irritations or are on any medications as well. Here’s wishing everyone a warm, happy, and itch-free spring!