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corollary with pet loss. Transitions between winter and summer seem to be the hardest on older animals. Underlying diseases often become evident, existing conditions worsen and many pets pass during seasonal shifts. My belief is that there’s a deep physiological connection with the seasons that signals organisms to transition from one phase of life to another. I encourage pet parents to closely monitor older pets during summer for subtle changes that could reveal significant illness. scratching & sniffles Summer is the start of allergy season for many pets. As plants and fungi thrive and broadcast pollen and spores, allergies bloom. Seasonal skin conditions such as atopy and allergic respiratory conditions are common from May through October. Seasonal flank alopecia, a condition causing hair loss along the sides, is related to melatonin production. Also called light responsive alopecia, it is more frequently diagnosed in dogs living in northern latitudes that don’t receive adequate sunlight exposure. As we open our homes and allow pets outdoors during the summer, we also expose them to allergens. If your pet is affected, be sure to take the secrets of sunshine | barks feature “As plants and fungi thrive and broadcast pollen and spores, allergies bloom. Seasonal skin conditions such as atopy and allergic respiratory conditions are common from May through October.” preventive measures and start treatment before the scratching and sniffles begin. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other insects are abundant during summer, so make sure your pets are protected against parasites. Lyme disease is on the rise, especially in the Northeast U.S., and heartworm disease plagues dogs and cats. Flea allergy dermatitis continues to be one of the top skin conditions (and is one of the easiest to avoid with flea/tick preventives).


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