Springtime allergies can turn you into an itchy, irritable, sneezy mess, as your eyes water and burn and congestion clogs your sinuses. Many pets also suffer from seasonal allergies.
Accurately diagnosing allergies in pets, and then successfully managing their signs, can be difficult. Allergy conditions are often complex and can involve more than one allergen, making it challenging to determine the exact cause of your pet’s allergic reaction without extensive testing. Pets also can suffer with year-round conditions if they are continuously exposed to an allergen, such as dust mites. And, as your pet ages, their allergies can change, requiring continual updates to their treatment plan to ensure they remain as comfortable as possible. To stay on top of your pet’s allergies, closely monitor them for potential issues and flare-ups. Here, our Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital team shares six signs your pet may be suffering from allergies.
#1: Your pet has inflamed, irritated skin
Pink or red skin is a definite sign something is bothering your pet, and allergies are high on the list of culprits. Pets having a mild allergic reaction can develop an all-over pink skin tone, which can quickly turn to an angry red if they keep chewing and scratching at a certain spot. In some cases, pets will develop hives on their muzzle or abdomen from contact or inhalant allergies, and they will lick and tear at their skin because of the itchy bumps.
#2: Your pet suffers from chronic ear infections
Since allergies in pets mostly cause inflammation and irritation of their skin, the ears can also be affected. While pets with droopy, hound-like ears are most likely to develop infections, any pet with allergies can suffer from an ear infection. The skin’s barrier becomes damaged because of allergens, and can produce more debris inside the ear, creating a moist, dark environment where yeast and bacteria can thrive. Without treating the underlying allergy cause, pets can suffer from chronic ear infections.
#3: Your pet scoots their hind end along the carpet
Similar to their ears, your pet’s anal glands can become irritated and inflamed. Anal glands are two small sacs located right inside your pet’s anus that typically expel a thin, foul-smelling fluid during defecation. But, an allergy-triggered inflammation can cause the ducts to become swollen, and the fluid cannot easily pass through. The fluid builds up inside the glands, and can thicken and lead to uncomfortable pressure, infection, impaction, or an abscess. When your pet starts feeling uncomfortable, they’ll often scoot their rear along your carpet, trying to relieve the pressure. You may also notice excessive licking or chewing under their tail, which signals your furry pal needs help.
#4: Your pet constantly licks and chews at their paws
As your pet walks outside, their paws come in contact with several key allergens, like pollen, mold, and grasses. These allergens irritate the skin and cause your pet to lick and chew at their paws, further aggravating the sensitive skin between the toes by creating constant moisture. If you believe your pet is experiencing these symptoms, please call our clinic to schedule an appointment.
#5: Your pet is losing hair
All that licking, chewing, and scratching is going to make your pet’s fur fall out, and, especially when the skin is damaged from allergies, they cannot grow back a healthy coat. Pets may have dry, flaky skin, or moist skin with a yeasty odor, usually in their skin folds. Hair can fall out in clumps, or your pet may simply seem to shed more than normal. In some allergy cases, such as flea allergies, hair loss on the hind end is a hallmark diagnostic sign. Fleas tend to focus on the base of the tail and hind legs, and your pet will lick and chew there until they’re bald.
#6: Your pet has upper respiratory signs
Although most allergies in pets cause skin reactions, some pets also have respiratory-related signs, similar to those in people suffering from seasonal allergies. Sneezing, wheezing, reddened eyes, and nasal and ocular discharge can be signs your pet has developed allergies, particularly inhalant allergies.
Allergies in pets can appear at any age, so keep a close eye on your furry pal for any of the above signs. If you see any allergy signs, contact our Leawood Plaza Animal Hospital team to schedule an appointment for allergy relief for your pet.