Right Around the Corner: Spring Pet Allergies
Do you suffer from a runny nose, sneezing, and a scratchy throat when spring arrives? Chances are, you aren’t alone – your pet may experience spring allergy symptoms, as well. Allergies are relatively common in animals, but you may not know what to look for or how to help.
Although spring pet allergies may be a challenge, the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital can help you develop a plan to support your pet through whatever the season brings!
Causes of Spring Pet Allergies
Pets can be allergic to many of the same things as people, including fleas, food, and seasonal changes. In springtime, pollen from blooming trees and grasses can cause an increase in allergy symptoms. Similarly, when plants come out of their winter dormant period and begin to bloom, the pollen in the air increases, triggering allergies in both people and pets.
In Overland Park, juniper, elm, and other blooming trees are plentiful, and we often see an increase in spring pet allergies beginning in mid-February. With our mild winters, spring can begin as early as mid-February but typically peaks in mid-March. To stay informed, you can check the daily pollen count online.
Common Signs of Spring Pet Allergies
In the springtime, people normally suffer from sneezing, watery eyes, and runny noses. In pets, signs of allergies typically involve the skin. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
- Intense itching
- Biting or chewing at the ears, paws, face, underside, or under the tail
- Rubbing their face or body against furniture or carpet
- Patches of hair loss
- Open sores
- Increased odor
- Red or blotchy skin
- Head shaking
- Red or watery eyes
- Scratching around the ears
Managing Pet Allergies
Allergies are a process to diagnose and treat because not all animals respond the same way to treatment. Keep in mind, there’s no cure for allergies – only good management. However, with patience and a solid plan, we can help your pet feel much better and more comfortable.
If your pet’s symptoms are fairly mild, you can try the following approaches at home:
- Wipe down your pet after being outside. Focus on the paws and belly.
- Take off your own shoes while in the house.
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Remove allergens from your home with frequent cleaning and vacuuming.
- Run a HEPA filter.
- Make sure your pet is on a regular parasite preventive.
- Bathe your pet in a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian.
- Administer an over-the-counter antihistamine, as recommended by your veterinarian.
If your pet’s allergies are more severe, Blue Valley Animal Hospital is here to help. Allergy testing can help pinpoint the specific allergen your pet is responding to in the environment. Intradermal allergy testing requires inserting a small amount of potential allergen under the skin and measuring the body’s response. Blood tests can tell us which antibodies are present. Once we know what your pet is allergic to, we can develop a plan to desensitize them.
Always Here for You
Allergies can be miserable for pets and people alike. However, with a head start on spring pet allergies, we can help ensure your pet’s safety and comfort throughout the season. Please don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule an appointment at the first sign of a problem!