If you’ve ever suffered from sneezing, runny noses, nasal congestion, watery eyes and/or itchy noses, you know what how uncomfortable allergies can be. But did you ever wonder about our pet incurring the same symptoms but are unable to communicate their distress? Well, it happens all the time. It’s up to pet owners to be more attentive to detecting the ‘silent signs’ of our pets to aid them more expeditiously, so they too don’t have to suffer during allergy season.
If your dog or cat is not sneezing or coughing, it doesn’t mean they are not being hit by a serious allergy attack.
Dissimilar to us who inhale and ingest our allergens, our pets will typically absorb those pesky allergens through their skin. So how can we be more empathetic and proactive with our pets’ allergies?
For starters, check their ears regularly. Early seasonal allergies can appear as ear infections fairly quickly. They can be pretty miserable for your pet. Instead of home remedies, the best approach is to seek out veterinary treatment and solve the issue at the onset.
You can detect ear issues if your pet is showing a discharge. Also if your dog or cat is pawing at their ears or shaking their heads a lot, it’s time to call the vet.
Allergens absorbed into the skin under a pet’s coat is very uncomfortable. You can detect this if they are continually rubbing up against furniture or corners of walls. Hair loss, red, irritated skin could lead to open sores which may be a result of allergies.
Outdoors is another source of allergens. Dogs and cats can pick them under their paws [undetected by pet owners]. To counter, get into the habit of wiping their paws every time they finish their walk and come back into the house. Pet wipes or even wet paper towels should be at the ready for this purpose.
Paw licking can become an issue if the pet continuously licks his or her paws — particularly where there are sores. Some pets can become obsessive with paw licking which can transition into a long term behavioral issue, which is a psychological problem that needs to be addressed as well.
Often times, excessive licking of the paws is due to one of three underlying causes:
Atopy (the equivalent of hay fever in people)
Flea allergy dermatitis (often abbreviated “FAD”)
The moisture caused by excessive foot licking between the paws can cause a secondary bacterial or yeast infection.
If your pet’s allergies are severe, there’s are several allergy testing that can target what allergies are causing the specific issues.
Like humans, besides dust, mites, pollen and mold, our pets can even be allergic to a variety of food sources.
As dogs mature, their skin may become more sensitive. To counter, select a mild dog shampoo for your older dog. Shampoos made from coconut or palm oils are the mildest. Unusual or "doggy" odors can signal disease, so if odors persist, contact your veterinarian. Do not use human shampoos because they can actually be too harsh for a dog’s skin.
Most importantly — allergy symptoms can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance to get to the heart of matter . . . and alleviate the discomfort your pet might be experiencing.
Primary Source: Allergies in our Pets