This weekend we might have a bit of snow, but spring has been springing for a while. For you – and for your pet – the premature warm weather means a spring right into allergy season. Itching, scratching, bald spots, bumps, and recurrent ear infections are all symptoms of allergic reactions. If your pet is displaying any of these, it may be because of an allergy.
Pet allergies fall into three categories:
1. Fleas: It only takes a bite. With the mild winter we’ve had, fleas are on the rampage already, and dogs and cats are scratching away. If you’ve lapsed your preventatives during the winter, it’s time to start again. If you’re already seeing scratching, you may have already have fleas. If you see red bumps and bald spots on your pet, especially around the neck, the base of the tail, groin, and stomach area, your pet may be displaying an allergic reaction to flea bits. And here’s the really bad part. Sometimes, fleas bite animals that have been treated with prevention medicine.
2. Food: Allergies a la carte. Lots of our furry friends have allergies to food. If we’ve ruled out flea allergies, then food is the next most likely culprit. Let us talk to you about what your pet is eating. Sometimes, a simple change in diet is all it takes. We may also need to do a food trial. Once we figure out what the allergen is, we’ll recommend a product like Instinct’s Limited Ingredient® or Purina HA® (Hypoallergenic).
3. Environment: An itchy situation. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to dust, mites, pollen, and grass. And believe it or not, but once we tested a dog that was allergic to cats. We can do a blood test for environmental allergic.
Eliminating the cause, treating the symptoms. Antihistamines, steroids, antibiotics, and/or antifungals can help relieve the itching, scratching, and weeping eyes. We also have a new medicine called Cytopoint®, which is the newest source of relief for your chronically itchy pet. (Ask us about it!) But it’s all for nothing if the symptoms are treated without eliminating the underlying allergen.
Spring season doesn’t have to be allergy season. If you suspect allergies in your pet, spring toward the phone and set up an appointment to get to the bottom of your pet’s symptoms.