Summer Allergies advice for Pets Owners

Posted by: Admin  :  Category: Summer Allergies advice

Summer Allergies adviceAllergies are on many people’s minds at this time of year, as the struggle against hay fever is in full swing. However, many people do not realise that their pets, particularly dogs, might also suffer from allergies in the summer. Symptoms that show your dog could be suffering include face rubbing, scratching, and licking their feet.

There is some evidence that dogs may be becoming more susceptible to allergies, as genes that make them vulnerable become more prominent. Certain breeds are especially susceptible, such as Labradors and retrievers, West Highland terriers, and cocker spaniels. Females tend to be more susceptible than males, and symptoms usually start manifesting before the age of three.

Seasonal allergies can also cause dogs to develop other, secondary systems that can increase the level of discomfort they experience. These include skin infections, particularly one called staph pyoderma, or ear infections. Forms of these infections that are more resistant to treatment have become increasingly prominent in recent years due the extensive use (and misuse) of antibiotics, inadequate periods of treatment, and excessive use of corticosteroidal treatments. On occasion, these skin infections have been transmitted from dogs to humans or vice versa, though such cases are distinctly uncommon.

Symptoms might be triggered either by inhalation or by absorption of allergens through the skin. In the latter case, frequent bathing can help to lessen the effects of allergies. However, medication is often required for the more effective treatment of seasonal allergies. Many of these medications, take similar forms to those used in humans, acting as antihistamines. Some newer pet medications for allergy treatments such as Atopica 100mg tend to have fewer side-effects than older ones, as more non-steroidal treatments are now being developed.

Treatment for the skin infections that may develop as secondary symptoms of allergies will generally involve both topical and oral medications, both requiring dedicated, regular treatment to be administered by the owner. Generally treatment will last for three weeks or longer, and in exceptional cases with severe infections the treatment period can be considerably longer. Treatment of ear infections is somewhat more problematic. One common technique is deep ear flushing, that must be carried out while the animal is anaesthetised, followed by treatment with topical medicines.

Diagnosis of these infections will generally require testing of blood or intradermal skin tests. A complication of this method is that animals must first be taken off of medicines for pets that may be helping with the symptoms in order for tests to be effective. As with treatments, ear infections prove even more difficult when it comes to diagnosis. Slide cytology or the propagation of cultures are two techniques that may uncover the presence of infections.

Owners with dogs that display the symptoms of seasonal allergies should consider seeking advice from a vet, particularly if they suspect that secondary symptoms in the form of infections have developed. If allergy symptoms do not seem to be seasonal, it is possible that the dog actually has a food allergy.