Springtime, as wonderful as it is after a long winter, isn’t all fun and games for seasonal allergy sufferers. Runny noses, watery eyes, scratchy throats, and endless sneezing go hand in hand with the changing seasons for many of us.

Pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies, but their symptoms often go overlooked. Learning how to spot seasonal allergies in pets, and understand what you can do to help, can make a world of difference for a suffering pet.

Seasonal Allergies in Pets

The symptoms of seasonal allergies in pets can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems are the most common. The following signs may indicate seasonal allergies in your pet:

  • Itchy, red, scabbed, or swollen skin
  • Paw chewing/licking
  • Excessive scratching or licking at the belly or groin area
  • Pawing at the face/head/ears
  • Head shaking
  • Red or inflamed ears
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes
  • An unpleasant odor

The development of hot spots, caused by the excessive licking and scratching of a particular area, can be an unpleasant side effect of seasonal allergies. If left untreated, hot spots can lead to pain and suffering for your pet, as well as secondary skin infections.

About Those Fleas…

A pet suffering from chronically itchy skin may be experiencing a severe allergic reaction to flea saliva known as flea allergy dermatitis. Because fleas tend to be more active in the spring and summer months, it’s important to rule out fleas as the cause of your pet’s symptoms. Keeping your pet on a flea preventive medication year-round will help to keep him or her protected.

Helping Your Pet

If you suspect your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, give The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital a call. We can help to diagnose and treat your pet’s allergies with medication (either prescription or over-the-counter), medicated shampoos, creams, or sprays, and other treatment options. (Never give your pet an antihistamine, or any medication, without first consulting your veterinarian.)

Reducing allergens in your pet’s environment will also help keep him or her comfortable:

  • Bathe your pet with a recommended hypoallergenic shampoo
  • Soak your pet’s paws daily if paw licking/chewing is a problem
  • Vacuum and clean floors regularly
  • Wash your pet’s bedding weekly
  • Supplement your pet’s diet with a high quality omega-3 fatty acid (ask us for recommendations)

Seasonal allergies can leave pets feeling downright miserable, but there are plenty of effective treatment options out there. Contact us for more information!