As the growing season kicks into high gear, being outdoors without exposure to the thick yellow dust in the air is almost impossible. All that pollen bursting forth from myriad plants can wreak havoc on your sinuses, and your pet’s skin. Pets not only suffer from seasonal allergies, but can also be sensitive to environmental allergens year-round. Dust mites, cleaning chemicals, mold, fabrics, occasionally certain foods and other allergens can abound in your home and create an allergic reaction in your pet. Without intradermal allergy testing or blood testing, you cannot determine your pet’s specific allergen, although you may notice frequent signs if your furry pal is sensitive to an allergen in your environment. If you see any of the following seven allergy signs in your pet, schedule an appointment with the Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center team in Conroe.
#1: Your pet is shedding excessively
Although spring is shedding season, your pet may have allergies if they are losing more fur than normal. Allergies can also dry out your pet’s skin, causing flaking and creating dandruff. Pets with allergies also often develop alopecia (i.e., hair loss), because they’ll scratch or chew out patches of fur.
#2: Your pet is licking, chewing, and scratching at their skin
Unlike people with allergies, pets typically develop allergic reactions through their skin. Rather than watery eyes and sneezing, your pet will likely have itchy, irritated skin, and you’ll notice them licking, chewing, and scratching all over their body trying to alleviate their discomfort. Some allergy diagnoses can be easily made according to the spot your pet is chewing. For example, flea allergies can be diagnosed by hair loss and your pet’s chewing on their hind end, along with flea and flea dirt evidence. However, pets can lick and chew anywhere when afflicted with an allergy.
#3: Your pet’s skin is inflamed and infected
That itchy, irritated skin can bother your pet so much, the skin becomes red, raw, and infected from their constant licking and scratching. Some pets can chew at their skin so much they develop acute moist dermatitis, or hot spots, which are sticky, moist, inflamed areas that can easily become infected. The best hot spot treatment is removing the matted hair and keeping it clean and dry, but some severe hot spots also require antibiotics or antifungals to battle a bacterial or yeast infection.
#4: Your pet is suffering from chronic ear infections
While dogs with droopy, floppy ears are most likely to suffer from ear infections because of trapped moisture, any dog with allergies can develop chronic ear infections. As the skin becomes damaged from allergic reactions, yeast and bacteria can rapidly reproduce and overwhelm the ear, leading to recurring infections. Ear redness, head shaking, debris build-up, and an unpleasant odor are typical ear infection signs, and should be promptly treated to eliminate the pain.
#5: Your pet is constantly licking their paws
Constant paw-licking is a common allergy sign in dogs, especially those with environmental allergies. Your pet’s paws become itchy and irritated as they come in contact with allergens (e.g., pollen, grasses, weeds), creating an intense desire to soothe the inflammation through licking. If your pet licks their paws after being outdoors, wipe their paws each time they come indoors with unscented baby wipes or a black-tea wash to strip the allergens.
#6: Your pet is scooting their hind end along the carpet
Similar to their ears and paws, your pet’s anal glands can also become inflamed. These two sacs, located right inside your pet’s anus, typically secrete a thin, foul-smelling fluid during defecation. But, the skin inflammation associated with allergies can make the ducts too narrow to allow natural expression of the fluid. Over time, the fluid thickens, and can cause an impaction, infection, or abscess. When the sacs become overly full or infected, your pet will likely scoot along the ground to relieve the uncomfortable pressure. Once the overall skin inflammation from allergies is resolved and the anal glands are manually expressed, your pet will be much more comfortable.
#7: Your pet is displaying respiratory issues
Respiratory issues are less common than skin problems in allergic pets. Cats display watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose more frequently than dogs, and can also develop feline asthma because of allergen triggers in the air.
If your furry pal is suffering from allergies, and seems more uncomfortable than usual when they come inside after playing outdoors, they can benefit from a skin-soothing bath and grooming session. Contact The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team to schedule an appointment to help cleanse the allergens from your pet’s sensitive skin.