If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know all too well the misery that accompanies the arrival of spring (or summer, or fall, as the case may be). Allergies affect our furry friends as well and, although the symptoms look different they aren’t any less uncomfortable. Allergies in pets can also lead to negative health consequences if they aren’t treated promptly.

Clairmont Animal Hospital wants to make sure you would know how to tell if your pet has allergies, and what you can do to help them.

Allergies in Pets

Unlike humans, who may suffer from sneezing episodes, itchy eyes, or coughing during an onslaught of pollen or mold, allergies in pets typically manifest as skin issues. Common signs your pet may be suffering from allergies include:

  • Excessive scratching or licking
  • Paw chewing/licking
  • Red, scabbed, or swollen looking skin
  • Pawing at the face, eyes, or ears
  • Hair loss
  • Red or inflamed ears
  • Watery eyes
  • Excessive sneezing
  • A foul odor
  • Hot spots (areas where a pet is licking or scratching too much that become infected)

The Next Steps

If you suspect your pet has allergies, give your Clairmont Animal Hospital veterinarian a call right away. 

Depending on which type of allergies are suspected (pollen, mold, chemicals, fleas, or food) your veterinarian may order a blood test, skin test, full scratch panel, or in the case of food allergies a special elimination diet.

Once your pet has received a diagnosis, your veterinarian may recommend over-the-counter antihistamines, immunotherapy, allergy medications, medicated shampoo and conditioner, or a prescription diet in the case of food allergies. 

Removing as many allergens from your pet’s environment is another key component in making them comfortable.

  • Soak your pet’s paws everyday to ease inflammation and prevent allergens from being tracked into the home.
  • Bathe your pet regularly with hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner (your veterinarian will help you come up with a bathing schedule).
  • Clean and vacuum your home regularly, and launder pet bedding weekly to prevent the buildup of allergens.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (found in fish oil) has been shown to help with skin issues in pets. Talk to your veterinarian about the right brand/dosage for your pet. Additionally, be sure to provide your pet with the highest quality nutrition possible, and keep them at a healthy weight to bolster the immune system.
  • All pets should be on a year-round flea and tick preventive medication regardless of whether or not they are allergic to flea bites.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with further questions about allergies in pets or to schedule an appointment. We are here for you!