11 Mar Pet Seasonal Allergies: Does My Pet Have Them?
Sniffing, sneezing, headache, stuffy nose… it’s that time of year! Seasonal allergies can be a major pain. But did you know that your pet can have seasonal allergies too?
Seasonal allergies in your pet are more common than you might realize. Their symptoms may be a little different from our seasonal allergies, and they can’t take the same allergy relief medication we do, but thankfully, there are precautions you can take to help your pet suffer less during common allergy seasons.
To learn about your pet’s seasonal allergies, we’ll cover:
- Signs your pet has seasonal allergies
- The causes of seasonal allergies in pets
- Treatments and prevention for pet seasonal allergies
Pet Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
We’ve all experienced allergies. But what do pets experience when they have seasonal allergies? Your pet’s allergy symptoms caused by histamines can vary. Some pets deal with the same respiratory symptoms that humans experience, but some symptoms are unique to animals.
Itchy Skin & Skin Infections
Itchy skin and chronic skin infections are some of the worst symptoms your pet experiences with seasonal allergies. They are also some of the most common symptoms for pets. Their skin can get red and inflamed, along with the risk of infection, and itch all over their body. Your pet will often chew on their skin in an effort to get some relief.
Hair Loss & Excessive Shedding
Along with irritated and itchy skin, seasonal allergies can often signal hair loss in your pet. This can be connected to inflamed or irritated skin. If your pet is scratching and biting a lot, this can cause their hair to fall out.
Pet Licking Paws
Believe it or not, if your dog is licking their paws a lot, it could mean they have allergies. Cats lick their paws as a part of their normal grooming habits, but if your dog is licking their paws, it’s a sign of something else happening. A dog rubbing their ears or face with their paws can mean the same thing. Your pet could also be trying to relieve itchy eyes, ears, or paws.
Butt Scooting & Butt Licking
You’ve most likely seen a dog or cat licking their butts or scooting them across the floor. But that isn’t normal behavior. If your pet is licking their butt or scooting it across the floor, this is a sign that something isn’t right. Their anal glands can get inflamed by histamines associated with their seasonal allergies, which leads to larger anal gland issues.
Have your pet’s ears ever had a foul odor? This often means your pet has an ear infection, which can be a sign of seasonal allergies. This can be a very painful symptom for your pet, and they’ll often let you know if their ears are sensitive when you try to pet them. Some dog breeds are more likely to experience ear infections than others.
Sneezing, Coughing, and Wheezing, Oh My!
While humans’ first sign of seasonal allergies is often respiratory issues, that’s actually one of the least common for your pets’ seasonal allergies. Both your dog and your cat can experience respiratory issues, but it’s far more common in cats than dogs. Respiratory issues can also point to larger health problems that should be checked out by a veterinarian immediately.
Causes for Pet Allergies
Just like seasonal allergies in humans, our pet’s seasonal allergies are caused by a reaction from environmental allergens. The reaction makes our pet’s body’s cells release histamine into the bloodstream. This process leads to the allergy symptoms they experience.
There are many different allergens that can cause this reaction in your pet. If your pet is dealing with seasonal allergies, it’s most likely coming from the pollen of blooming plants and trees.
Treating & Preventing Your Pet’s Allergies
There are several approaches to treating your pet’s allergies. One of the first is to determine what kind of allergy your pet is suffering from. We talked to one of our very own PetWellClinic veterinarians, Dr. Nicole Corder-Ramos, about how to determine and treat allergies in pets.
One of the things with allergies is that they’re always in season. Environmental allergens can include dander, mites, fabrics, and cleaning solutions, which are always in season.Dr. Nicole Corder-Ramos, PetWellClinic
Dr. Corder-Ramos treats all types of allergies in pets with the same sincerity, but there are three different categories to consider when diagnosing allergies:
- Flea Allergy
- Food Allergy
- Environmental/Seasonal Allergies
According to Dr. Corder-Ramos, flea allergies are the most common in pets, followed by food allergies and environmental/seasonal allergies.
But how do you know which allergy your pet has? PetWellClinic offers allergy workups if you’re concerned that your pet has severe allergies. An allergy workup allows a veterinarian to see what your pet is allergic to, but also helps them determine what kind of treatment is best.
Pet Allergy Treatments
- If your pet suffers from a flea allergy, then regular flea and tick preventative is crucial. PetWellClinic offers many different flea and tick preventatives, but Dr. Corder-Ramos personally recommends Bravecto Canine for dogs suffering from flea allergies, and Bravecto PLUS or Revolution Plus for cats. Bravecto is also made from a hydrolyzed protein source, making it compatible with any special diets your pet is on to rule out food allergies.
- If your pet is suffering from a food allergy, a novel protein diet or hydrolyzed protein diet is often recommended long-term. But as always, discussing this option with your PetWellClinic veterinarian is the first step.
- If your pet is suffering from environmental allergies (including seasonal allergens outside), there are some pet-friendly immunomodulatory drugs that can treat side effects like itching. Apoquel is a pill that your pet can take daily, and Cytopoint is an injection that lasts 4-8 weeks. You can discuss these as a treatment option for your pet’s environmental allergies with your PetWellClinic veterinarian. If your pet’s allergies are severe enough, they may refer you to a dermatologist for hyposensitization, which is a form of allergen immunotherapy.
- Reducing your pet’s exposure to allergens is also a wonderful way to prevent your pet’s allergic reactions. This can include avoiding long exposure to environmental allergens outside, and wiping your pet’s paws when they come in from outside. If the allergen bothering them is indoors, replacing carpet with tile or wood, as well as laundering things (including their bed)regularly is recommended.
Preventing Pet Seasonal Allergies
The bad news about pet seasonal allergies? If your pet suffers from them, they’re hard to completely prevent, and they may suffer from them year-round rather than seasonally. They can be especially hard to prevent in dogs, but partnering with your veterinarian to find the source for your pet’s allergies, and the right treatment is the first step towards a happier existence for your pet.
Preventative Care is Key to Allergy Relief
Providing your pet with prescription-grade preventative care is essential for a healthy and happy life. At PetWellClinic, our veterinarians are dedicated to providing the right advice and solutions for your pet. We offer affordable wellness packages and individual services for your dog and cat to ensure they can enjoy a healthy and happy lifestyle.
PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Talk to our vets about solutions to relieve your pet’s allergies today!
PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.