The downside to wonderful, warm, spring weather and more time spent outside can be allergy symptoms for both you and your dog. While a vet or doctor’s visit is needed for a serious reaction to allergens, there are many steps you can take to lessen the impact.
The ASPCA says, “The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment.” They suggest consulting with your vet for flea prevention, since fleas are the cause of many skin outbreaks. And, there's a list of all the symptoms and other tips at this link.
Give Pollen the Brush Off
Mother Nature designed some pollen to be lightweight and blown by the wind to a female plant. Other, heavier pollen is designed to stick to critters so it can be moved from plant-to-plant.
Dog fur is a great place for both types of pollen to reside. A simple wipe down with a damp towel after a walk can leave some pollen on the doorstep. Regular brushing this time of year can also help.
Regular Home Exams
Catching a problem early generally makes it easier to cure. Having had two dogs with fairly serious skin allergies, I’m in the habit of running my hands under the fur and feeling for any bumps, breakouts, hot spots, or cysts. Try to be systematic and check the entire pup.
If you see your dog rubbing his ears or shaking his head more than usual, be sure to do a close inspection.
Check all four paws, too. Allergies often show up as licking behavior. If your dog is licking her foot or leg, it may be a sign of allergy.
Keeping a Medical Log
A bit of record keeping on your part can help your vet diagnose the likely cause of allergies if you do schedule a visit. Allergy symptoms include: itchy, red, moist, or scabbed skin, increased scratching, runny eyes, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, and snoring caused by an inflamed throat.
If you notice any of these symptoms, make a note on a calendar or in your pup’s medical log. Also, note what pollens are out, any new foods your dog may have had, and any new places you’ve visited. All of this will help with a diagnosis and with future preventative action.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
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