Spring means allergy season for many pets

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lately, Spring means rain-and lots of it!

But, springtime also means allergies for many of us...including our pets.

You and I are usually sniffling, sneezing and scratching our eyes, our dogs and cats are more likely to have skin problems than respiratory symptoms.

Untreated allergies can cause dogs and cats to scratch their itchy skin and ears until they bleed. This can lead to infection.

While allergies are a problem year-round in Houston, spring, summer and fall can be more problematic for some pets. Minimizing exposure to allergens can be accomplished by bathing on a regular basis. Allergy testing can be used to identify problem allergens and reduce exposure. It also allows us to use immunotherapy to treat allergies (the process of administering small quantities of the allergen on a continual basis to induce tolerance). The standard protocol has always been done with allergy shots, but now immunotherapy can be administered by mouth as well. There are also medications that can be used to help with the symptoms of allergic disease that your veterinarian may recommend.

Dr. Karin Beale with Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (http://www.gcvs.com/) says pets prone to allergic disease are very often allergic to flea saliva as well as pollens, molds, dust and dander. She says fleas thrive in a warm, humid climate...and that is us in Houston! It is very important to use a flea preventive medication (topical or oral) as directed by your veterinarian. Pets that are not allergic to fleas can tolerate some flea bites and not be symptomatic, but flea allergic pets can be very itchy with minimal flea exposure.

Attached are photos of a black pit bull with hair loss on back and red inflamed feet. He has flea allergy and environmental allergies.

Karin Beale, DVM, DACVD
Karin Beale, DVM, DACVD

Also photos of a yellow lab with severe allergies before and after treatment

Karin Beale, DVM, DACVD
Karin Beale, DVM, DACVD

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