It's a lovely time of year to enjoy all the many outdoor activities the Treasure Valley has to offer. There is now a slight chill in the air, brilliant turning leaves, and the promise of the holidays coming up to enjoy with friends and family. And hey, it's possible that your seasonal allergies are easing up. But did you know your dog or cat may be experiencing some allergies of his or her own during the fall season? Some pets show symptoms of their autumn allergy issues and without the information you need, you may miss the tell-tale signs and not know how to make your dog more comfortable. Here's what every pet owner should know about their furry friends seasonal allergies.
Autumn Allergies for Dogs
It's common to think that dogs and humans only experience allergic reactions during the springtime when many plants are in bloom and pollen is running rampant. Not always the case. There is actually a whole host of plants that pollinate in the fall, including weeds, trees, and some grasses.
A few of the plants that may cause your dog allergy issues in the autumn are:
- Russian thistle (tumbleweeds)
- Lamb's quarters
As a side note, if your dog or cat suffers from environmental allergies, they most likely display symptoms and suffer year-round without any relief. Environmental allergens that you may have limited control over include dust mites and mold.
Spotting Your Dog's Allergy Symptoms
The classic allergy symptoms in humans (think sneezing and watery eyes) aren't usually what you'll see right away in dogs, which is part of why pet owners don't always realize their furry friend is suffering. Instead, you'll likely notice your pup suffering from these symptoms:
- Abnormal scratching and licking
- Chewing skin
- Hair loss, sores, and skin infections resulting from scratching and chewing
- Scratching/shaking of the ears
If you notice that your pet seems to be dealing with an itch she just can't shake, she may be dealing with a seasonal allergy. Itchy skin is the primary symptom that dogs will suffer from as a result of allergies, and this may cause scratching to the point of bleeding.
Helping Your Pet
If you believe that your dog is struggling with a seasonal allergy this fall, call your veterinarian. Your vet can assess the situation, even performing an allergy test to identify exactly what's going on if necessary. The good news is that there are many options available for treating pets with seasonal allergies. For most dogs, the remedy will likely be as simple as mild anti-itch shampoos and antihistamines to reduce symptoms.
For more severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe a steroid. If all else fails, your dog may need immunosuppressants or desensitization therapy to manage tough cases of allergic reactions. Most dogs won't need this kind of intervention and will likely be comfortable quickly with shampoos and antihistamines.