Spring Allergies in Pets

Did you know that your pets can have seasonal allergies just like humans? Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever or seasonal allergies, is very prevalent in pets, especially dogs. Any dog can have these allergies, but they are especially prevalent in pit bulls, boxers, bichon frises, cocker spaniels, German shepherds, and Golden retrievers.

Identifying Seasonal Allergies in Your Pet

While both humans and pets can have seasonal allergies, they don’t usually show up in the same ways. Humans have more respiratory symptoms, while pets tend to present their allergies through their skin. Look out for these symptoms when deciding whether or not to visit your vet about seasonal allergies:

  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Biting, gnawing, or scratching at the skin
  • Excessive shedding
  • Bald spots in the fur (known as hotspots)
  • Constant licking of the paws
  • Licking at the anal gland
  • Rubbing the anal gland on the floor
  • Red, waxy inner ears
  • Foul smell inside the ears
  • Drainage from the ears
  • Rubbing their face and snout on the carpet or furniture (mostly in dogs)
  • Respiratory problems (mostly in cats)

Treating Your Pet’s Seasonal Allergies

If you believe your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, contact your local veterinarian immediately for advice and care. If you live in Tampa Bay, call Affordable Pet Hospital at (813) 991-9898 to schedule an appointment. It’s essential for a veterinary professional to evaluate your pet’s symptoms and condition so a proper treatment plan can be developed. In the meantime, follow these steps to keep your pet’s allergies at bay and reduce symptoms:

  • Bathe your pet regularly to remove allergens from their fur
  • Wash their ears out with a pet-friendly solution
  • Wipe off their paws after every visit outside
  • Keep your pets on a flea and tick preventative. Many of the skin symptoms caused by fleas mimic seasonal allergy symptoms.
  • Use anti-itch sprays or creams developed specifically for pets
  • Limit outside time
  • Try an over-the-counter allergy medication, only after consulting with your veterinarian first. Some allergy medications that are safe for pets include:
    • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
    • Loratadine (Claritin® – Note: NEVER give your pet Claritin-D®. It can be lethal even in small amounts! Use original Claritin® only!)
    • Cetirizine (Zyrtec®)
    • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton)

Spring Allergy Care for Your Pet

Don’t wait to get your pet relief from spring allergies. If you’re in Tampa Bay, contact the veterinary professionals at Affordable Pet Hospital for compassionate, competent, evidence-based care. Call us at (813) 991-9898 or contact us online today!