Spring Allergies - Pollen Allergies In Pets
In the springtime, grass, trees, flowers, and other plantlife release pollen spores into the air to produce seeds and fruit. Just like humans, cats and dogs can be allergic to pollen from one or more plant species. Unlike humans, though, these allergies do not manifest as respiratory symptoms like sneezing or watery, itchy eyes.
It’s much more common for spring allergies in pets to manifest as paw licking, scratching, scooting, and ear infections, all of which can make your pet miserable.
Decoding Your Pet’s Spring Allergies
Allergy symptoms that come and go with the seasons may be caused by pollen, though your veterinarian can conduct a blood or skin test to confirm.
You can also try the at-home 5Strands Pet Intolerance Test to test for over 300 common dietary and environmental allergens, including food ingredients, cleaning products, plants, and mold. The test can help you find out what specific tree or plant triggers your pet’s allergies so you can limit their exposure to it.
When it comes to seasonal allergies in pets, though, pollen isn’t the only culprit. Warmer weather brings fleas out from dormancy, leading to an uptick in infestations in the spring and summer. Pets with flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) are hypersensitive to the components of flea saliva. While it’s normal for pets to scratch in response to flea bites, those with a flea allergy may experience excessive itching, hair loss, and skin inflammation, even with mild infestations. Using an oral or topical flea treatment and, if needed, treating your home and yard for fleas typically resolves symptoms of FAD.
Grooming Tips To Help Your Pet Cope With Spring Allergies
Every time your pet is exposed to allergens like pollen or mold they may stick to their coat. Bathing your pet more frequently can help. An over-the-counter medicated shampoo can also help soothe irritated skin and promote healing. When you can’t bathe your pet, use bath wipes to eliminate allergens from their paws and coat.
Over The Counter Remedies For Spring Allergies
Just like humans, dogs and cats can take an antihistamine like diphenhydramine, or Benadryl, to block the histamine receptors that cause allergic reactions. It’s best to use a made-for-pets antihistamine for more accurate dosing. Antihistamines made for humans can contain inactive ingredients that are toxic to pets.
Prescription Medications For Spring Allergies
If you do not see improvement in your pet’s symptoms with over-the-counter treatments or by limiting your pet’s exposure to allergens, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your pet can damage their skin with excessive scratching and paw-licking, leaving them vulnerable to infection. Prescription medication Atopica safely reduces the immune response to manage symptoms and give your pet’s skin a chance to heal.