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scratch track: petplan pet insurance examines fall allergies in pets

  • Dr. Kim
  • Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on
    Staff Veterinarian and Pet Health Writer of Petplan

Though most of us associate allergy flare-ups with springtime, autumn can also trigger an itch in our dogs and cats. When humans suffer from allergies, we get classic respiratory signs like congestion, sneezing and watery eyes. Our pets instead tend to develop itchy skin and ear infections, which are also unpleasant. Allergic pets can be quite miserable--their itchy skin drives them crazy! You may see your pet chewing at her feet, scratching her face on your carpet or digging at her belly in an attempt to get some relief. The skin of the ears can get inflamed and become more prone to infection. All of that scratching can also incite skin infections, making the itchiness all the more worse. 

Petplan Dog-in-Chief,
Wellington, suffers from chronic allergies and can often be found wearing a comfy cone this time of the year to protect himself from rubbing his itchy skin raw!  

If your pet suffers from allergies, you’ll want to visit your veterinarian sooner rather than later.  Treating allergies early in the season can help you avoid chronic skin and ear infections that may last all season long. You may also want to look into 
pet insurance before the allergies ever develop. By protecting your pets before allergies rear their itchy head, if your pet develops a chronic skin or ear infection, it can be covered by Petplan pet insurance for life. Of course, you may be able to avoid infection all together by heading symptoms off at the pass. Talk to your veterinarian about starting medications prior to the change in season to avoid major symptoms.

Scratching the Itch
There are many different therapies being used to treat allergies, such as:
  • Antihistamines: Just like with us, using medications that block histamines helps stop that itchy feeling.
  • Medicated shampoos: Often, just bathing your allergic dog more often during peak allergy season can help by physically removing allergens. Sometimes soothing medicated baths are also necessary.
  • Antibiotics: If infection is present, your pets’s doctor will prescribe oral or topical antibiotics. 
  • Steroids: A little bit of steroid goes a long way toward stopping the itchy inflammation that comes with allergies. Steroids are not a long-term solution but provide much needed short term relief.
Allergy seasons seem to vary in their severity. Let’s hope this fall is a mild one so we can all enjoy the cooler weather without itching up a storm.
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Chris AshtonCo-Founder and Co-CEO of Petplan Pet Insurance
vet tip of the week

Visit your vet at least once a year to keep your pet protected from preventable diseases.