Though most of us associate allergy flare-ups with the birds, bees, flowers and trees of 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 furry friends, however, tend to develop itchy skin and ear infections, which are just as unpleasant!
Symptoms of allergies in pets
Allergic pets can be quite miserable – their itchy skin drives them crazy! You may see pets chewing their feet, scratching their face on the carpet or digging at their belly in an attempt to get some relief. The ears can also become inflamed and more prone to infection. All of that itching and scratching can lead to skin infections, making the itchiness all the more worse.
What to do if your pet has allergies
If your pet suffers from allergies, visit your vet sooner than later. Treating allergies early in the season can help you avoid chronic skin and ear infections that may dog your pet all season long.
You may also want to look into pet insurance before the allergies ever come about. Allergies can be covered by insurance if you protect your pet before they show up and lead to a chronic skin or ear infection.
Of course, you may be able to avoid infection all together by heading symptoms off at the pass. Talk to your vet about starting medications before the change in season to avoid major symptoms.
Scratching the itch
Many therapies are available to treat allergies, including:
- Antihistamines: Just like with us, medications that block histamines help stop that itchy feeling.
- Medicated shampoos: Bathing your allergic dog more often during peak allergy season often helps by physically removing allergens. Sometimes soothing medicated baths are also necessary.
- Antibiotics: If a skin or ear infection occurs, your pet’s doc 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!