When most people think about pets and allergies, they automatically remember humans who have allergic reactions to pets. However, pets have allergies just like we do, and many of them have to do with certain seasonal weather changes and their surrounding environment. While cats and dogs do sneeze as an involuntary reaction to an irritant, just as we do, you might be surprised to find out that their allergy symptoms are a bit different. Cats with dry skin and dogs with hot spots just might be signs of seasonal allergies. New Bedford pet owners should contact their trusted veterinarian in South Coast if they notice their pet biting or scratching themselves more than usual. Skin that is inflamed or swollen can be a sign of a secondary infection caused by all the biting or scratching. It is crucial to determine the cause of itchy skin and identify whether it is merely dry skin, allergies, or parasitic in nature.
Common Pet Allergies in Massachusetts
Our cats and dogs can develop seasonal allergies to many of the same allergens that humans do. This can include grass, pollen, and mold spores, as well as other irritants that are found in their specific environment. Domesticated animals are more likely to develop allergies than wild animals. Many believe that this is due to hundreds of years spent living indoors alongside humans, which have weakened their immune systems. Whatever the cause, your pet may show many different signs that reveal they are having issues with allergies. Coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and dry, itchy skin are at the top of the list, but there can be other allergy symptoms. It is crucial to bring your pet in for a check-up rather than assuming their symptoms are allergies, as many of these symptoms can also be signs of more severe health issues, including asthma and upper respiratory infections.
The scratching that we see in dogs or cats with dry skin can also lead to even more problems. Open sores and infections are a definite concern, but so are hot spots, shedding, and balding. Your local veterinarian in South Coast can help diagnose allergies and provide treatment options and preventive solutions that will help to keep your pet’s allergies under control. If allergies are not the culprit and something else is going on with your pet, we can offer seasonal pets in New Bedford to help you keep your pet healthy and safe. Other issues that are seen in dogs and cats with dry skin or excessive itching can include flea bites, flea dirt, and other common parasites, including ticks. Your vet may need to do something known as intradermal skin testing to determine what allergens are causing the problem if the solution is not apparent upon examination.
How to Treat Pet Allergies in Massachusetts
It is essential to know that you should not get an over-the-counter medication designed for humans to treat your pet’s allergies. Many of these products can be extremely dangerous to your pet’s health. Some veterinarians will have New Bedford pet owners give their cat or dog an antihistamine like Benadryl, as well as antibiotics for infections and creams for hot spots. Never give these medications on your own. Always seek the guidance and correct dosage information from your local veterinarian in South Coast. Some of these products will only work for certain types of allergens, and you might ultimately do more harm than good by dosing your pet. However, there are other things that you can do to make your pet more comfortable during allergy season that are safe and effective to use.
- Calming Baths – Certain cat and dog shampoo formulas contain oats and other natural ingredients that can help to calm skin irritations. Specific allergy shampoos are also on the market that has been proven effective. While many pets do not like baths, they may be more compliant once they realize that the shampoo is soothing.
- Ear Cleaning – For many pets, ear cleaning is a direct result of allergies. Ear infections can be common but can be prevented with the use of gentle wipes to keep your pet’s ears free of allergens.
- Avoid Irritants – Once you identify what irritates your pet’s allergies, try keeping them away from it whenever possible. If grasses are the problem, consider replacing your backyard grass with artificial or avoid parks that have a lot of grass. Also, wipe your pet’s feet with a safe wet wipe to remove pollen, grass, and other irritants from their paws before coming indoors.
Schedule a Veterinary Check-up
Regardless of the issue, the best bet for New Bedford pet owners is to schedule an appointment with their trusted veterinarian in South Coast whenever they suspect a problem with their cat or dog. Contact Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to address common issues like dogs and cats with dry skin, parasite prevention, vaccinations, seasonal allergies, and more. Call our team at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or get more seasonal pet tips in New Bedford from our friendly and knowledgeable veterinary team.