With trees, grass, flowers, and plants coming back to life after a long winter, spring is a beautiful and much-anticipated season. Unfortunately, it’s also the time that many people and pets develop seasonal allergies. Pollen in the spring is one of leading causes of allergies in companion animals.
The very things that you can’t wait to see growing again all contain a large amount of pollen that peaks in the early spring and fall. If your pet has a sensitivity to pollen, we recommend checking the count each day and keeping her inside the house as much as possible. Below are three other common allergy triggers that all pet parents need to know.
Flea Saliva and Droppings
Fleas depend on the blood of a warm-blooded animal to survive. They also release a chemical in their saliva and droppings that can cause your pet to itch himself almost non-stop. While that is certainly uncomfortable for your dog or cat, the situation can pose a serious health hazard when he has a condition known as allergic flea dermatitis. The best way to avoid the risk and keep your pet comfortable is to make a small investment in year-round flea protection. We have several flea prevention products in our online store.
A mite is a tiny parasite less than 300 microns in size that can inhabit the dead skin cells of animals and people. When your pet sheds old skin, the process causes the release of mites in the air. Since no one can see them, it can be difficult to figure out that they’re the cause of your pet’s allergy symptoms. Inhaling the mites can cause significant respiratory dysfunction in your pet as well as several serious skin conditions.
Pet Food Ingredients
Several common ingredients in pet food, including yeast, corn, wheat, dairy, soy, and meat can cause allergy symptoms in pets. Stomach upset is often the first indication that anything is wrong. If your pet can’t seem to tolerate the food you normally feed her, be sure to ask us for a recommendation for a specialty food free of allergens.
How to Know if Your Pet Has Allergies
Your pet obviously can’t tell you when he’s experiencing allergy symptoms, which means you must know what to look for so you can help him feel better. Some of the most common indications of allergies in dogs and cats include:
- Increased scratching
- Scooting across the room on her hind end
- Body odor
- Discharge from eyes
- Skin infections
- Ear infections
- Belching and/or flatulence
- Rubbing or pawing at face
- Discharge from nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry, hacking cough
- Bald spots
Please contact Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic to arrange a prompt evaluation of your pet’s symptoms if she displays several of these symptoms.
Treating Pets with Allergies
If you suspect any type of allergy in your dog or cat, the first thing we do is complete diagnostic testing. Once we have determined your pet’s allergy triggers, we will let you know how you can reduce his exposure as well as begin a treatment plan. Some possible solutions include using special grooming supplies for sensitive skin, switching his diet, and beginning or changing a parasite prevention plan. Since some allergy triggers are difficult to determine, you may need to try eliminating one thing at a time to pinpoint them. We are always here to help if you run into challenges treating your allergic pet. You can schedule a special appointment to discuss allergies or ask about it at your pet’s next preventive care exam