Don’t leave your pets’ allergies un-itched!

Bye-bye winter- hello Spring time! And hello to lots of allergies and itchy skin and ear infections and tickly toes! Despite allergies being something that can affect our pets all year round, it tends to rear its ugly head during the warmer months and when the weather changes.

A little itch here or there is completely normal, but when it becomes a daily struggle that actually affects our pets’ skin and demeanour, it becomes an issue you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to. Allergies also pose risk for recurring or prolonged health problems such as skin, ear, and nasal problems. Can you imagine having a constant itch that makes your skin red and sore? Or if you had the smelliest of ears that had discharge coming from them, or your toes being so sensitive and itchy that it feels like there’s constant flames burning between your toes? That’s how your pets feel when they suffer from allergies. So it’s lucky there are treatments and foods available that can help make soothe your furry-friends itch!

Skin problems
Skin allergies make our pets’ skin itchy and inflamed and, if not treated, can result in chronic skin irritation and inflammation. Environmental allergies are the most common pet allergy seen in our vet dermatology practice for cats and dogs. Environmental allergies result in the skin’s protective barrier being weakened.
If your pet is suffering from a skin problem, they will tend to either scratch, paw, or chew at their skin. Itching and infections described above can then further cause self-injury to the skin, which in turn invites secondary infection.
Fleas can also play a huge role in making our pets’ skin unbearably itchy, and can even cause anaemia, so be vigilant and use flea control products all year round

Ear infections
Yes, ear infections can occur due to underlying allergies in our furry friends! In fact, the most common underlying primary cause of ear problems in animals is allergies! While ear infection needs to be treated once it is present, there is often a need to find the underlying allergy so that further ear discomfort and ear infections can be prevented. Ear infections are also quite prone to animals with small, narrow ear canals, and with long floppy ears! Classic signs of ear infections include your pet shaking their head, scratching at ears, sore ears to touch or discharge and/or odour.
Chronic ear problems are quite discomforting to dogs and cats, and can even lead to ruptured ear drums, wax plug formation and development of ear masses in the ear canal.

Nose, Eyes & Chest Problems
Pets are just like humans when it comes to matters such as sniffily noses, watery eyes or even asthma like symptoms. Cats can be affected by asthma with involvement of an underlying allergic cause. Watery eye or nasal discharge is a sign of inflammation in these parts of the body. If inflammation persists for long enough or if the immune system is compromised during this time, bacterial infection of eyes and nose can occur. While respiratory signs including eye and nasal problems are not as commonly discomforting as skin and ear conditions in allergic pets, it is best to avoid them or minimize these allergy symptoms on a timely basis. It is important to keep in mind though that whilst inflamed eyelids, watery nose, eye discharge, wheezing, sneezing, congestion, coughing, reverse sneezing and infection of any of these areas can be associated with allergies, they can also be associated to non-allergic conditions.

It is super important we keep vigilant with minding our pets’ skin and behaviour over the warmer months, and to not brush their symptoms under the carpet and hope they go away. Usually, the quicker your pets itchy skin or sore eyes are seen to, the quicker they can start to feel better. Some skin issues can take a while to pin point the exact allergen causing the problems, but once it’s found out, the sooner treatment can start.
And that’s the bonus with allergies – there is always a treatment option whether it’s with medications, washes, diet change or environmental change. Be sure to make a booking with one of our vets to figure out what’s best for your four-legged friend!