Friday, May 27, 2011

So Itchy!

The warm weather is finally here! Dogs and people alike are all venturing out of their homes to spend more time sun. Unfortunately for some, the spring and summer also means the onset of seasonal allergies. Over the next few months we will likely see a large number of dogs with skin, ear, and respiratory issues due to allergies.

Many things can cause allergies in dogs from food to pollen to fleas and anything in between. The most common symptom of allergies in dogs is itching of the skin and/or ears. This can be localized to one area, or it can be all over the body. Another group of symptoms involves the respiratory system with coughing, sneezing, wheezing and sometimes discharge from the eyes or nose.

The ideal treatment for a dog with allergies is to bring him or her to a dermatologist to determine what exactly they are allergic too. Sometimes, due to finances, owners elect to treat the symptoms as happen instead. All patients suffering from allergies should be seen by a vet for treatment to determine the best course of action; whether that be the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, or topical solutions. Some cytology should be performed to determine if the allergic reaction is bacterial or fungal, that way your vet can decide which medication to use. If you have further questions about seasonal allergies, contact your veterinarian, or give us a call at 508-394-3566.