North Little Rock, Arkansas — According to Dr. Jessica Roberts with The Boulevard Veterinary Clinic in North Little Rock, a lot of her patients deal with allergies this time of year.
“It’s probably arguably one of the most common things we see, if not the most common issue we see, especially in dogs,” Roberts said. “We see it in cats too, but much more common in dogs.”
For humans, allergies typically show up in the form of coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
But it’s different for pets.
“They’re walking around near the ground, near the things that they’re allergic to like the grasses, the weeds, the pollen, so they manifest through their skin,” Roberts said.
According to Roberts, Pet parents should watch out for signs like licking, chewing, itching, rubbing of the face, and ear infection.
Inflammation can also break down the skin’s protective barrier. “A lot of times, we see patients with really bad skin infections secondary to this, whether it’s yeast or bacteria.”
So how can you help? “You might have minimal benefit from things like Benadryl or other antihistamines, but that’s only a small portion of dogs,” Roberts said.
Your vet can tell you what dosage to try, but Roberts said, in most cases, animal-specific medications are the better option.
“If we can catch this allergy on the front end and start these medications before we have an infection or really, really severe inflammation – it’s going to be safer, it’s going to be more convenient for you and more cost-effective,” Roberts said.
According to Roberts, the vast majority of pet allergy issues are caused by the environment, not food.
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