Many of the signs and symptoms of animal allergies in dogs are not unique to either type of allergy, treatment may require a bit of educated trial and error to pinpoint the exact cause of your dog’s allergy. A visit to your vet should always be your first step. Here are some general guidelines to help dog owners understand seasonal animal allergies.
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Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies generally occur at certain times of the year. Some of the common causes of seasonal allergies include dust, dust mites, pollen, grass, and flea bites. Veterinarian in Vet Clinics Kingston said that lesions on the top or underside of your dog’s feet often point to environmental allergies.
Your dog’s climate and environment can have a major impact on if they have seasonal allergies or not, they said. In Canada, for instance, it’s always warm, so things are blooming year-round which can expose your dog to more allergies. But things bloom in the spring, then they’re gone in the winter. Regardless of where your dog lives, it’s still possible for him to develop year-round allergies.
Animal Allergies can occur at certain times of the year, but they can turn into year-round allergies for older dogs. The more your dog is exposed to the allergens he’s sensitive to, the more intense and long-lasting his allergic response becomes.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Seasonal Animal Allergies
There are several ways that seasonal animal allergies can be diagnosed and treated, most of which depend on the allergen itself. These include:
Testing: an intradermal skin test, in which a small amount of test allergens is injected under your dog’s skin, can help pinpoint the problem of moderate to severe allergies. Allergens are identified by which injections cause redness, swelling, or small hives. Your vet can then create a specialized serum or immunotherapy shot which can be administered at home or in your vet’s office. Veterinarian in Vet Clinics Kingston says 70 percent of dogs have good results after a year of shots.
Fatty acids: omega-3 fatty acid supplements like fish oil can help reinforce the skin’s barrier, reduce inflammation, and can be helpful for all types of allergies in addition to chronic issues including skin, joint and cardiac problems.
Antihistamines: the same over the counter antihistamines that people take can be given to dogs to help reduce itching. Depending on the dog and his condition, however, it can take some time and effort to find the right one. I’ve seen owners give their dog Benadryl because it helped their friend’s dog, but it won’t be effective if your dog has developed a secondary skin infection, Veterinarian at Gardiners Road Animal Hospital Kingston said. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before giving your dog over the counter drugs so you don’t make things worse.
Steroids: dogs who are severely itchy and uncomfortable may need a steroid, which can quickly reduce itching. But owners should be aware that there are increased side effects of steroid medication, such as high blood pressure and kidney disease. Your dog should receive regular blood and urine testing if he is taking steroids on a long-term basis.
Antibiotics: Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if your dog’s constant licking, chewing or rubbing has created a secondary skin infection. His skin may look red and inflamed or have a circular bald patch with a crusty edge.
Environmental control: Veterinarian in Vet Clinics Kingston said simple things like preventing your dog from making contact with known irritants can go a long way toward providing relief. Don’t let your dog go on specific surfaces that irritate him like grass. You may have to make a lifestyle change. If you can’t rip out your grass, try putting boots on your dog. Or give him a localized footbath or a cleansing foot wipe down. It may also be a good idea to keep your dog on a regular bathing schedule which can help remove abnormal bacteria.
Flea and Tick Medication: It’s common for dogs to have an allergic reaction to flea saliva, which can cause itchy spots and red bumps toward the back end of his body. Ridding your dog of a pesky flea infestation can be a difficult task. Make sure to apply flea and tick medication as directed by your veterinarian, as improper use of flea and tick medication can result in an infestation. Other ways to help keep the flea population down include regularly vacuuming carpeted surfaces, using a flea comb, and washing your dog’s bedding weekly with hypoallergenic, non-toxic detergents instead of household cleaners that may contain chemicals.
Overall, getting to the root of your dog’s allergy can take a bit of educated detective work. The most important thing is to seek help from your vet and not to get discouraged with the process.
It can be frustrating if something isn’t working there’s always something else, we can try, Veterinarian in Vet Clinics Kingston said. It might seem like you didn’t accomplish anything, but your dog’s response to therapy helps determine the next step. We can find a plan to help your pet.
Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston open 7 days a week. In our Yearly Health Exam Service, we have Veterinary experts with years of experience who have done their jobs in Animal Allergies incredibly.