The concept of a pet having seasonal allergies may seem unusual, especially when they're often the cause of allergies. Pets can and do suffer from allergies, and the irritants are ones you're probably familiar with if you have allergies yourself. Both cats and dogs can be made miserable from these irritants, but they also react differently than you might expect. You're more likely to hear the thumping of legs on the floor as they scratch their itches as opposed to outright sneezing and wheezing. Here's a look at seasonal allergies in pets and how a veterinarian can help you help your pets.
Understanding Seasonal Allergies in Pets
Warm weather brings the usual suspects of mold, pollen, and dust into play every spring. Conditions are optimal for these irritants to bloom and become airborne. You and your pets breathe in the same air, and all of you are breathing in irritants that cause a histamine response. Unlike humans, however, pets don't typically sneeze, cough, or wheeze when they have an allergic reaction. Rather, cats and dogs develop something known as atopic dermatitis, or allergic inhalant dermatitis. It's a hereditary condition, much like in humans.
When a pet is experiencing atopic dermatitis, their body is undergoing an inflammatory response. The body is attempting to get rid of the irritant through any means possible, and in pets, this is primarily done through the skin. As the body expels the irritant, the pet's skin becomes itchy in certain spots, or it can be all over the body.
Signs Your Pet has Seasonal Allergies
Both dogs and cats become agitated, irritable, and scratch, lick, or chew at themselves frequently when they're suffering from seasonal allergies. They tend to stay bright eyed and responsive, but they may not be as interested in interaction because the urge to scratch is so strong, and they may not be able to rest for long periods of time. A pet might not exhibit a rash on their skin right away but will scratch at hot spots in search of relief. The signs worsen the longer the pet goes without treatment.
When a pet is not treated for allergies, they will not stop their attempts to find relief. They keep scratching and chewing at their hot spots and give themselves sores along with pulling out their own hair. Some pets may wheeze and sneeze frequently, but atopic dermatitis is the most dominant sign of allergies. Seasonal allergies in pets will not go away on their own, and it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian to learn about allergy relief options.
Talk to a Veterinarian About Seasonal Allergies and Your Pets
You may be familiar with giving your pet Benadryl for seasonal allergies and may have even tried it for your own pets. The major issue with Benadryl is that it's not effective for most pets, and when it is, a tolerance to the active ingredient can build up. Seeing the vet is a better strategy for dealing with seasonal allergies in pets and getting the proper care. The veterinarian examines your pet to arrive at a diagnosis and provide you with a treatment plan and medications that help your pet find relief from their misery.