May 2018: Vet's Advice
Pets can have pollen allergies too
It is getting to that time in the year again when hay fever sufferers start to sneeze. Our pets can also begin showing signs of allergies. Allergic symptoms may include runny eyes, scratching, red skin, itchy ears or biting at their feet. When a dog is allergic to pollen, grass or dust we call this canine atopic dermatitis. It is important to rule out fleas or mites and food reactions before confirming this diagnosis. Blood tests and skin tests can be helpful to pinpoint exactly what your dog is reacting to.
Some dogs and cats will just itch at certain times of year. Vets see a lot of pets when the grass pollen season hits in spring and at the peak of the tree pollen season. Unfortunately, some pets have year round allergies. It is very important to use regular flea control because it will help to control the itching.
There is a huge range of options for managing allergies and, as a vet, I must tailor each treatment to the individual pet and owner’s needs. Sometimes something as simple as using a shampoo or a diet supplement can make a huge difference to their skin complaint. There are also various tablets for keeping your pet comfortable and itch-free. Some pets, suffering from year round allergies, may start a desensitisation course of vaccinations to attempt to cure the allergy.
If your pet is starting to itch then please come in for a chat. We realise having an allergic pet can be very challenging and sometimes frustrating because often a true allergy can be lifelong. An open and honest discussion is a good way for both owners and vets to explain what they want and what can be achieved.