Fall allergies feeling like the bane of your existence right now? If dogs and cats could speak English, they’d probably concur. Many pets are just as susceptible to the dreaded pollens and molds of the seasons as we are. They just experience different symptoms, and in some ways, they have it worse than we do. Your eyes may be watery, nose may be runny, and sneezes profuse, but at least you don’t feel the need to chew your toes in public and have ears that smell like a pungent sourdough bread starter to everyone within a certain radius.
Seasonal allergies are most often associated with pollens and molds that we and our pets are exposed to naturally in our environments. In the fall, these are often different, or just in varying amounts, from the spring. Ragweed is perhaps the top cause of fall allergies because late summer through October is when it is pollinated. And here in North Carolina, where it’s humid most of the time, mold is just a fact of life, especially coming out of the super humid summers and into fall. Pollens and molds are unavoidable to a large extent, but when we know what and when our pets’ triggers are, we can work to reduce exposure to minimize symptoms and treat them when needed to prevent them from becoming serious.
Symptoms for fall allergies are primarily seen as dermatologic issues in both cats and dogs. Less commonly, we also see watery eyes. Dogs are most likely to suffer from seasonal allergies, but both can experience:
Some pets have more severe allergies than others, so treatments vary. Some pets will struggle with allergies during the whole season, while others only struggle with the duration of one particular pollen for a shorter period of time. Some may have relatively mild symptoms while others have chronic infections that require antibiotics and a more aggressive strategy. This is why it’s always a good idea to have your pet examined by a veterinarian, then develop a good plan to get through the season.
Each pet is an individual, so their treatments might need to be, too. Antihistamines might be a good choice for many pets to help them get through the season with their allergies well-managed while others need extra help. Particular shampoos can help calm inflamed skin, antibiotics might be required to quickly deal with a painful ear or skin infection. It’s even common for dogs to get yeasty, raw skin between the pads of their feet which might need to be treated with medicated wipes.
Overall, there are several options for your pet’s treatment, and it’s our job to determine the best course of action for good, and safe, results.
While we wish that no one had to deal with seasonal allergies, we do feel happy to be able to treat your pets and help them feel better. We enjoy dermatology: the process, the “before and after”, the wags, and the purrs. Call us!