With spring transitioning into summer, there are many types of pollen and other allergens circulating throughout the air and environment. Many dogs and cats have seasonal allergy issues, just like us humans do. Allergic reactions can be brought on by both inhaled allergens and contact allergens.
Dogs and cats show typically their allergy symptoms in their skin and ears. You may notice pets scratching or licking themselves more than usual this time of year. Having an itch you can’t get rid of can be very uncomfortable. You may also notice a funny odor coming from their ears. Often allergic reactions can be accompanied by bacterial or fungal infections that require medication in order to put a stop to the clinical signs.
There are many different treatments for allergies. Not all treatment plans will work the same for each pet. Some of the most common treatments include the following:
- Bathing with appropriate medicated shampoo
- Topical medication such as antibacterial or anti-inflammatory cream
- Oral medication such as antibiotics, steroids or antihistamines
- External parasite treatment (flea bites are very itchy and many pets can have are hypersensitive to flea saliva)
Some allergic reactions can be brought on by the food that your pet is eating. It is often difficult to narrow which ingredient your pet is allergic to. Your veterinarian may suggest trying a hypoallergenic diet for six to eight weeks. Allergy testing (via bloodwork) is available and very informative, but can also be quite expensive.
Just as with people, allergies can be frustrating for your pet. Be sure to bring them in to see their veterinarian if you suspect they are having issues with their skin or ears. Treatment of allergies has a much greater prognosis if caught early. Your pet will give you a giant kiss to thank you!