As the weather warms up and we transition from spring to summer (it happens so fast!) you may notice you are suffering from allergies. Do sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy skin (atopic dermatitis in pets) sound familiar? You may not be the only one in your house that is suffering seasonal allergies, your pet’s can suffer too!
Allergies occur because of irritating substances in your pet’s environment. Common allergens are dust, grass and pollen. Pollen is the most common airborne allergy and can travel up to 100 miles! Common signs that your pet may be suffering from allergies are red or itchy skin or paws, hair loss, hot spots, itchy ears or redness and irritation of the ears or face.
What’s more-an article posted by the AVMA in November 2019 provides details on researchers from the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine reporting finding that the severity of the itch in dogs with atopic dermatitis was directly linked to behavior that is considered problematic. This could include mounting, chewing, hyperactivity, eating feces, begging for and stealing food, excitability, attention seeking, and excessive grooming.
Behavioral data was gathered directly from dog owners as part of the Itchy Dog Project, an online study designed to help researchers examine the possible genetic and environmental causes of canine atopic dermatitis. The results showed that itching severity in dogs with atopic dermatitis was associated with more frequent problem behavior, which could suggest a link between the severity of the itching and psychological stress in dogs suffering from atopic dermatitis.
For mild cases, there are things you can do at home to minimize your pet’s suffering during allergy season like bathing your pet regularly with a natural, moisturizing shampoo to wash away allergens and minimize dry skin, wiping their paws thoroughly after they go outside, washing their bedding frequently, and limiting the time they spend outside in contact with potential allergens.
If your pet seems to have a more severe case or their allergies aren’t improving with the steps above, it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian! The doctor will get information on the symptoms your pet is experiencing, asses their coat, skin, eyes, ears and mouth and then determine the best course of action to help your furry family member out of their allergy fog and get them back to their happy, healthy self!
Do you have a pet that suffers from seasonal allergies that you aren’t able to control? Would you like to learn what you can do to help your pet during an allergy episode? Schedule an exam with our veterinarian today to learn about what options your pet has to beat the allergy blues! Call for an appointment at 530-343-7917 ext. 202.