Springtime Allergies in Dogs

Springtime Allergies in Dogs

May is Allergy Awareness Month, and you may not be the only one to have to deal with the sniffling and sneezing that comes with this time of year! Dogs, too, can be affected by springtime allergies. Below, a Cheney veterinarian answers your questions.

What is My Dog Reacting to?

There are two main categories of allergens that your dog can react to: atopic, or topical, allergies, and flea allergies. Atopic allergies happen when your dog reacts to something inhaled, like pollen, dust, or mold. Flea allergies are caused by a protein in flea saliva. Even a single flea bite can result in a reaction in a dog that’s sensitive.

What are the Symptoms of Allergies?

Itching, scratching, chewing, and biting at the fur is the most common symptom of canine allergies. Your dog is doing this to try and relieve the itching he feels on his skin. Some dogs even develop sores and bald batches where they’ve chewed away the fur.

Other dogs exhibit sneezing and sniffling, as well as coughs and watery eyes. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet during the springtime, contact your veterinarian to have your dog checked out.

How are Allergies Diagnosed in Dogs?

Your vet will use both skin tests and blood tests to determine what’s causing your dog’s springtime allergic reaction. These tests work by actually creating a miniature reaction with a specific allergen and a sample of your dog’s skin or blood. This way, your vet can determine exactly what’s causing the issue and take steps to treat it.

How are Allergies Treated in Dogs?

The treatment for canine allergies depends on the allergen that’s causing the problem. If your dog is reacting to flea saliva, you’ll need to take steps to eliminate fleas from your home and your dog, using flea medications and sprays. Most atopic allergies can be treated with medications like antihistamines, which stop the itching.

Air filters can also do wonders to reduce allergens in your dog’s environment. Other dogs are helped greatly by regular baths, including oatmeal baths that help eliminate itch. Talk to your Cheney veterinarian for more information on this, and ask about any other allergy-related questions you may have.

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