Pets, just like people, suffer from seasonal allergies.
You know those allergies that leave you with red, itchy eyes and the constant feeling that you have to sneeze? They aren’t unique to humans. Believe it or not, our pets suffer from seasonal allergies just like people do. However, unlike people, pets cannot come out and tell you that they have allergies and need treatment. Like with any issue or ailment your pet may be dealing with, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs so that you can get your pet the treatment they need.
Signs of Allergies in Pets
Sign #1. Biting or scratching
Itchiness is often the first sign of allergies people notice in their pets. And dogs often try to relieve the itchiness by scratching or biting themselves, which leads to red and inflamed skin. While giving your dog a bath using a mild soap can help them find temporary relief, you’ll want to take your dog to your local veterinary clinic to help them find real relief.
Sign #2. Skin Infection and Inflammation
Although allergies often manifest themselves in people in the form of runny noses and watery eyes, in pets, they often manifest themselves in itchy, red skin. Unfortunately, as pets scratch to try to relieve the itch, it often ends up in a skin infection. Although these infections are more common in dogs than cats, when they happen in cats, they are often more intense since cats don’t tend to hold back when scratching themselves.
Sign #3. Paw Licking
It’s common for your pet to lick their paws as a part of their regular grooming routine, but if your pet’s paw licking becomes compulsive, it could be a sign of allergies. When your pet’s body pushes out the histamines, they get pushed out towards your pet’s extremities, including the face, anal region and paws.
Sign #4. Excessive Shedding
In addition to skin infections, another result of biting and scratching is increased shedding and hair loss. It’s not uncommon for the excessive shedding to be accompanied by dandruff, which is caused by the drying effect on the skin that allergies have on pets. If your pet’s allergies have gotten to the point where they start losing hair, you should take them to see the veterinarian sooner than later.
Sign #5. Licking the Anal Region or Scooting
As we mentioned when we were discussing paw licking, histamines get pushed out towards a pet’s extremities, which include the anal region. When you pet feels an itch in that region, they might lick the area compulsively or scoot on the ground; the latter being much more common in dogs. Keep in mind that scooting can also be a sign of an anal gland problem.
Sign #6. Ear Infections
If you have a dog with floppy ears, like a cocker spaniel or a hound breed, then you’re probably all too familiar with ear infections. But if the infections keep happening over and over again, then there’s a good chance that they are related to allergies. Signs of ear infections include head shaking and ears that are waxy and red. Please note that ear infections are very uncomfortable and, in some cases, painful for pets. Don’t put off taking your pet to the veterinarian for treatment if you think your pet may be suffering from an ear infection.
Sign #7. Respiratory Problems
Respiratory issues are a less common sign of allergies than many of the other signs we’ve gone over, and they are more common in cats than they are in dogs. This is because cats are more sensitive to the pollutants in the environment. Poor air quality triggers allergies, which trigger respiratory problems, like coughing, difficulty breathing or wheezing. If you notice respiratory problems in your pet, get them to the veterinarian immediately, as they can are sometimes related to much more serious health problems.
What should you do if you notice signs of allergies in your pet?
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs of allergies in your pet, the first thing you should do is to take your pet to the veterinarian. There are oral medications and other treatment options that may work to manage your pet’s allergies. Keep in mind, though, that having the right expectations is important. Pet allergies will never be cured, but they can be managed.
Can you give your pet Benadryl?
When you start feeling itchy, the first thing you will probably do is grab some Benadryl or another antihistamine, but are these things safe for our pets? It’s important to take note of the fact that, while usually safe, antihistamines are less effective in pets than they are in people, and are only meant to be used as a treatment for mild to moderate allergies. Make sure that you ALWAYS consult your veterinarian before giving your pet Benadryl or any other medication, especially if your pet takes a regular medication for another ailment.
Contact us at The Vet Set today to help your pet find relief.
No pet owners wants to watch their pet suffer, and luckily, when it comes to allergies, relief is in sight. If you have questions or concerns about how to spot the signs of allergies in pets, or you think that your pet might be suffering from allergies, contact us at The Vet Set. Located in Carroll Gardens, we’re a neighborhood veterinary clinic dedicated to taking care of your pet as if they were our own. Schedule your appointment today.