Dogs are one of the reasons why Jordan’s life is very meaningful. Through the years, having pets at home has allowed him to gain expertise in the pet arena and now writes for Coops And Cages and in other blogs, sharing his own personal views on pet-related issues with bloggers like me and to the rest of the world. In here, he talks about the symptoms, cures and ways to prevent allergy in pets for the spring.
Spring is meant to be a joyful season for everyone. The slightly hot weather condition offers the perfect excuse to finally be able to jump out of the house and get a whiff of the scents of lavenders, roses, peonies, hyacinths and lilies. Nothing really beats the refreshing fragrance of spring. This too offers a spectacular visual display that can only be seen in this season. The grass is greener, the flowers a rainbow of colors, and the skies as blue as can be. It’s the time when children finally get to play with their neighborhood friends at the nearest park and bring along their pets with them. Ah! The wonders of spring season until that pet of yours starts to have allergies. Yes, your pets just like you could be hypersensitive to allergens especially during certain seasons such as this.
Symptoms of Allergies in Pets
There are several types of pet allergies. These could be brought about by fleas, food, inhaling certain agents present in the air or by simple skin contact with allergens. Pet allergy symptoms
may vary depending on what is causing it and the kind of pet that you have. These are just some of the classic symptoms of allergy in pets.
Sneezing or coughing
Runny and itchy eyes
Eye and ear infection
Scabs in skin
Licking of skin
Ways to Prevent Spring Pet Allergy
In order to prevent allergies in pets, you must be able to pinpoint its real cause and observe if these only occur during certain times of the year. This spring, these tips will help keep allergies at bay.
Bathe as often as needed. Allergens such as dust and pollens could stick to pet’s skin or coating which could cause irritation or sneezing when inhaled. These are very much prevalent during this particular season. Since it can’t be helped that your dog or cat will likely spend some of its time out in the yard, the best way to remove these from its body is by giving it a nice bath. Some pets contract allergic reactions from simple tick or flea bites too so use shampoos that are especially made to kill these.
Clean the interior of your home. If your pet lives inside your home, collecting dust is simply not ideal for an allergic pet. Wipe furniture and vacuum your carpet to collect seen and unseen dirt. Flowering plants inside the home is okay just as long as these are placed inside a closed room where your pets are not allowed to linger.
Boost your pet’s immune system. Pets that suffer from allergies tend to have weakened immune systems. To help combat this problem, take care of pet’s health by giving it health boosting supplements. Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium help prevent free radicals from wreaking havoc in your pet’s health. Observing a diet ideal for your pet should also give it some of the needed nutrients to keep it strong.
Watch out pet’s diet. Aside from environmental allergens, your pet may also suffer from allergy due to the consumption of certain foods. It can be tricky to determine what foods are causing your pet to have scaly or itchy skin. To help you determine the particular food that your beloved pet is allergic to, limit its diet to a particular carbohydrate and protein serving for several weeks. If this does not show symptoms of allergy, then the foods are safe to eat. Introduce other foods and if any of these cause itching or scaling, then you will have to eradicate this from its diet.
Treatment Options for Allergic Pets
If the prevention tips above fail to ward off the allergy, your veterinarian may recommend these remedies to control it.
Antihistamines. Some people use human antihistamine medicines when trying to treat allergy in their pets. While some of these may work for certain pets, these may not be recommended for your cat or dog. For example, diphenhydramine can be used in dogs but when given to a cat, this could cause vomiting, diarrhea, sleepiness, and loss of appetite. Visit your veterinarian instead for the right prescription and do not make the mistake of raiding your own emergency medicine kit when trying to cure your pet’s allergy. Some known antihistamines for pets are clemastine, chlorpheniramine, cetizarine and hydroxyzine.
Anti-inflammatory agents. Itchy skin could become very intense for your pet, making it scratch its skin until it bleeds. An open lesion could easily attract bacteria and fungus which could easily cause skin inflammation. Anti-inflammatory agents in the form of skin sprays or creams may help control this and speed up the healing process. Some veterinarians may choose to supplement this with the use of oral antibiotics.
Fish oil. Veterinarians initially experimented using omega3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil to address canine allergy problems. This was proven to deliver anti-inflammatory results in skin lesions and improved itching symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis. Today, this remedy is not just recommended for the use of dogs but can be safely ingested by cats too. Aside from allergy health benefits, consuming fish oil could also help with other types of health problems in pets such as high cholesterol, kidney problems and arthritis.
Take note that fish oil capsules are not made equal. In order for this to effectively treat pet allergy, this must be given in high doses. Buy concentrated fish oil capsules with higher potency instead of the usual 500mg variety.
Hyposensitization. For pets suffering from atopic allergy, hyposensitization could help build your pet’s immune system. This is equivalent to the allergy vaccination shotsreceived by people. Through blood or skin testing, allergens are identified and with this, corresponding vaccine is administered to pet in a biweekly or monthly basis. Results may not be immediate and could take a year before your pet experiences significant relief from itch.
Allergy can take away the sun out of the spring from your pet. Since it can’t cure its itch with saliva alone, it’s your obligation to be sensitive to its needs and notice if this is showing tell-tale symptoms of allergies. If you suspect that it does, don’t hesitate to visit the vet right away. You may not be able to cure this in a matter of days but with the help of an expert, you can help your pet have a happier spring and recover easily from the itch, sneezing or skin inflammation caused by the allergy.