Trees, grasses, and weeds are reviving after the winter. Sure they look lovely, but they fill the air with pollen that not only affects humans but animals, too!
Here are some symptoms to watch for that may suggest that your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies:
- Skin irritation or inflammation (also known allergic dermatitis or atopy). This may manifest as feline acne in cats and as hives in horse.
- Excessive scratching
- Hair loss, bald spots
- Hot spots (inflamed, infected skin patches)
- Running nose
- Watery eyes
Managing Pet’s Seasonal Allergies
It’s not easy to avoid airborne seasonal pollens. Frequent baths for your pets may help. Keeping your pets indoors can help to some degree as well. If avoidance isn’t cutting it, talk to your allergy vet or veterinary dermatologist. They may wish to start with an allergy test, but be aware that allergy tests often show false negatives or positives. Sometimes your pets’ symptoms may be enough to indicate seasonal allergies.
Medications such as antihistamines, steroids, and topical creams may be a first line of defense. These can be helpful with seasonal symptoms. If your pets’ allergies are significant enough though (or long-lasting enough), they may benefit from “immunotherapy.” Immunotherapy is often administered through allergy shots, but it can also be taken with more “pet-friendly” under-the-tongue allergy drops. The shots/drops contain extracts of common allergens. As your pet gains increased exposure to these allergens, it can become desensitized to them and stop overreacting to them. This is often a longer-term solution than simply prescription medications which only address the symptoms of the underlying allergic disease. For more information about allergy immunotherapy for pets, contact PALLERGY, 1-800-568-1180.