You probably already know that for some people, warm weather can bring with it itchy eyes and a runny nose. Unfortunately millions of folks suffer from seasonal allergies. What you may not know is that many pets do too! Here’s how to recognize seasonal allergies in your animals.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies in Pets
One frequent symptom of seasonal allergies in pets is itchiness. If your cat or dog is feeling itchy, you’ll probably notice them biting or scratching themselves more than usual. If they keep scratching, you might also observe that their skin is inflamed and red. If you notice any symptoms of seasonal allergies in your pet, you should take them to the vet. However, a bath with mild shampoo might temporarily help with the itching in the meantime. This will also wash off any allergens like trees, grass or pollen.
If your pet is scratching a lot, they might develop a secondary skin infection. These infections can be rather severe in cats since their scratching can actually produce small skin lesions. Other signs of infection include lethargy and a lack of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet. Meanwhile, you can soothe your pet’s skin with witch hazel or cool green or black tea bags.
Hair loss and increased shedding may result from the itchiness and skin infection. Your pet might also start shedding dandruff since allergies can dry out your animal’s skin and cause flaking. These signs of allergies are also reason to call a veterinary professional.
In addition to skin infections, pets with seasonal allergies might also develop ear infections. These infections are particularly common in floppy-eared dog breeds like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels. Signs of ear infections include red waxy ears and your pet shaking their head a lot. These can take a while to clear up, so it’s crucial you take your animal to the vet at the first sign of infection.
Another symptom of seasonal allergies in dogs is constant paw licking. While this behavior is normal in cats, it could be an indicator that something is wrong with your pooch. Also be on the lookout for your dog rubbing their face. Allergies push histamines out toward your pet’s extremities, causing them to get itchy in their ears, anal region, paws and face.
All that histamine being pushed out toward your animal’s rear end might cause them to scoot around or lick their anal area. This behavior is more commonly noticed in dogs, but can also occur in our feline friends. For dogs, scooting or licking might just also mean they are having issues with their anal glands.
Lastly, a pet with seasonal allergies might also display respiratory problems. This symptom is particularly common in cats since they are extra sensitive to allergens like environmental pollutants. Look for wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing in your pet. Respiratory issues are urgent and demand veterinary attention immediately.
Treatment for Seasonal Allergies in Pets
As always, if you notice any health or behavioral changes in your pet, it is best to contact your veterinarian. Your vet will know the best course for testing and treatment of your animal’s symptoms. While there’s no complete cure for seasonal allergies, many treatments can ease your pet’s discomfort, so call your vet!