April Showers Bring… Spring Skin Allergies in Pets
During the spring season, we experience warmer weather and new growth, but we also experience something more threatening—pollen. This yellow substance triggers irritating allergies in people and pets alike, and it can cause a variety of signs in pets.
Causes of springtime allergies in pets
While pollen in the grass and air is one of the top causes of springtime skin allergies in pets, other substances also may cause a reaction, such as:
- Dust mites
- Flea bites
Some pets may have year-round allergies, but experience flare-ups in the spring when pollen production kicks into high gear. If your pet is prone to itching all year long, keep a close eye on them to ensure they remain comfortable through this particularly itchy season.
Skin allergy signs in pets
Generally, people with allergies display their hypersensitivity through respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing and red, watery eyes. Pets, on the other hand, are more likely to develop skin issues when exposed to allergens. If your furry pal has allergies, they may show the following signs:
- Red, inflamed skin
- Itching and scratching
- Excessive shedding or hair loss
- Licking at paws
- Shaking head
- Scratching at ears
- Chronic ear infections
- Hot spots
Pets with allergies can experience a flare-up seemingly overnight, with their skin appearing calm and comfortable one day, and hot spots and an ear infection showing up the next day. If you know your pet has allergies, monitor them closely during their itchiest times of the year to get a jump on flare-ups.
Managing skin allergies in pets
Managing allergies in pets can be challenging. As your pet grows older, their allergies change, requiring constant adjustment of their treatment. Therapies to manage allergies in pets can include:
- Allergy injections (i.e., immunotherapy)
- Targeted anti-itch medications, such as Apoquel and Cytopoint
- Medicated shampoos
- Oral and topical antibiotics for skin infections
- Ear cleaners and medications
Remember what worked well for your pet one season may not work as well the next, so be open to trying new treatments.