Thankfully the dark depths of winter have now subsided and we’ve begun to enjoy the warm sun of a spring day once again. Whilst most of us will rejoice at the change in weather those of us that suffer from allergies will be carefully preparing ourselves for the onslaught of pollen and other allergens that spring brings with it.
For most of us that means stocking up on antihistamines to stave of the onset of itchy eyes, a runny nose and hives all over our skin. However, for our pets that suffer from allergies (a lot) relief can be a little harder to come by.
Pets can suffer from the same allergies that humans do, so prior to the warmer months really kicking in we thought it would be a great idea if we gave you a crash course in what to look out for and how to help your pet should they suffer from any allergies. We’ve put together a list of the five most common seasonal allergies and how you can help your pet out if they begin to suffer from any of these.
- Grass seeds: These tiny seeds can burrow their way into your pet’s skin and cause intense itching, what’s worse is that scratching can drive the seeds further into the pores worsening the irritation. If this is allowed to continue it can cause a secondary infection to occur that will require anti-biotics and possibly a topical cream to clear up. A great way to prevent this is to wipe them down with a wet cloth after they’ve been outside playing, be careful to pay special attention to their groin and under their front legs. You can even try a daily fish oil capsule to help lubricate the skin. If you notice any redness or irritation have a vet come over and take a look at them as soon as possible.
- Pollen: Just like humans your pet can have an allergy to pollen that can cause them to have irritated or weeping eyes, itchy feet and even a runny nose and just like us it makes them feel awful as well. It’s difficult to prevent the onset of pollen allergies because of their airborne nature however if you find your pet is having regular reactions you can avoid taking them out on days pollen is particularly bad or speak with one of our vets about preventative medications that can help. If they begin to suffer from these symptoms don’t stress, just have a vet come over and they’ll be able to provide some immediate relief for your pet.
- Dust Mites: That spring cleaning that is giving you the tremendous sense of accomplishment could causing your pet to suffer in silence. If your cleaning has stirred up some dustyou’re your poet is reacting to it expect to see similar skin reactions as grass seeds but you may also notice they’re suffering from some respiratory problems as well. This may manifest as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Keep their environment clean to avoid these little critters causing your pet some serious problems and if you notice these symptoms persisting have a vet take a look at them.
- Mould: The warmer weather coupled with any damp areas you may not be aware of contributes to the perfect environment for mould to grow. Mould spores can enter the air and cause serious health problems not only for your pet, but you as well. Symptoms mainly manifest as respiratory problems but mould can irritate the skin as well. To avoid this keep their environment well ventilated and if you notice mould in your house keep your pet (and yourself) away until you have removed it. If you notice your pet is displaying any of these symptoms and you think it is mould related it is imperative to have a vet visit them as soon as possible.
- Fleas: It’s spring and love is in their air for the animal kingdom, unfortunately fleas are no exception to this. These little critters can be lurking in grasses, bushes and even carpet fibres and if they latch on to your pet they can cause them to be horribly uncomfortable with continuous itching. Whilst the symptoms are commonly known, the effect of non-treatment isn’t. If your pet is suffering from a flea problem that isn’t resolved quickly it can lead to a secondary infection that is much harder to treat. Not only that you may find yourself with a flea infestation in your home which is extremely difficult to deal with to say the least. The good news is that they’re very easy to prevent against, you just need to remember to apply their flea treatment monthly.
The warmer months and longer days bring about amazing opportunities to spend some quality time with our pets in the great outdoors but we need to be mindful that we’re not missing any of the signs that they’re not having as much fun as we are and suffering in silence.
As always prevention is the best form of treatment but if your pet is unlucky enough to suffer from one or more of these allergies have a vet come and treat them as soon as possible
Now go and enjoy yourself!
The Vets on Call Team