Veterinarians Discuss Spring Dog & Cat Allergies

Treating Springtime Dog & Cat Allergies -

Dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies just as humans do. And spring allergy season can leave Fido or Fluffy feeling miserable thanks to pollens and other environmental allergens.

Scientists are also speculating that climate change has increased the number of allergens affecting people and their pets. Higher carbon dioxide levels are increasing the growth rate of many plants – which increases the amount of pollen. Rising temperatures also extend the growing season – which means a longer allergy season.

Symptoms of Dog & Cat Seasonal Allergies

Human’s allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract – but dog allergies and cat allergies more frequently take the form of skin irritation or inflammation, called “allergic dermatitis”.

south bay veterinariansSigns and Symptoms of Pet Allergies include:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Biting or chewing areas of their body
  • Rubbing against furniture or carpet
  • Inflammation and tenderness to the touch
  • “Hot Spots”
  • Areas of hair loss
  • Open sores on the skin, and scabbing
  • Inflamed, itchy, discharging or odorous ear canals
  • Runny nose, watery eyes, coughing or sneezing
  • Puffy red eyes, red mouth tissue or chin, red paws

Treating Pet Seasonal Allergies

Since most environmental allergens are heavier outdoors, regular foot soaks and frequent are essential to reduce your pet’s exposure – especially when they have been outside.

Baths wash away the allergens on the coat and skin – and can give complete, immediate relief to an itchy pet. Our veterinarians recommend using a grain-free (oatmeal free), soap-free, specially formulated hypoallergenic pet shampoo.

Foot soaks are also recommended by our veterinarians.  Soaking (or at least wiping) the paws after an outdoor excursion reduces the amount of allergens your pet tracks into the house and spreads through their indoor environment.

Vacuum & clean all floors and pet bedding frequently, to remove airborne allergens as well as allergens that have been brought into the home by pet paws and human feet. Our veterinarians suggest using simple, non-toxic cleaning agents rather than household cleaners containing harsh chemicals.

Keep your pet’s immune function optimal. Remember, allergies are an immune system response. Proper rest, diet, exercise and nutrition are more important than ever when your dog or cat is experiencing allergies. Our veterinarians do not recommend vaccinating your pet during a systemic inflammatory response (“allergy attack”) – because vaccines stimulate the immune system.

Consider moving your pet to an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that are too high in carbohydrates can worsen inflammation. Our veterinarians can discuss ways to improve your pet’s diet to eliminate potential allergens and to enhance immunity.

Our South Bay Veterinarians Treat Dog & Cat Allergies

Determining whether your pet’s symptoms are due to allergies or another medical condition requires an examination by an experienced veterinarian. Your dog or cat’s symptoms could be due to “seasonal” or “spring” allergies, other environmental allergies, a food allergy, or even an underlying medical condition. Our veterinarians can determine why your cat or dog is scratching, chewing, rubbing, or inflamed.

In some cases medication may need to be prescribed to help ease your pet’s symptoms, treat infections and make them more comfortable. Certain steroids (e.g. Prednisone, Methylprednisolone), Hydroxyzine Chlorpheniramine (Doggie Benadryl), and other veterinarian prescribed medications can help certain allergic conditions and symptoms. However, NEVER attempt to treat your cat or dog with medications yourself, until your pet has seen their vet! (And NEVER give your pet human medications!)

If your cat or dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, call Manhattan Beach Animal Hospital today. Our caring and experienced veterinarians will examine your pet and treat their condition – so that they are once again happy, healthy and comfortable.

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