Table of Contents
- Spring Allergy in Dogs: Symptoms to Look Out
- How Are Spring Allergies Diagnosed in Dogs?
- Treatment of Spring Allergy in Dogs
- Do Spring Allergies in Dogs Get Better With Time?
- Spring Allergy in Dogs: Conclusion
Picture this: it's a lovely and pleasant day outside. Springtime is here, and the flowers are in full bloom and vigor.
You decide to spend time outdoors to enjoy the fine weather and take your canine companion on a walk.
While you may have loved the colors and blossoming, your dog may exhibit strange signs of sickness as you return.
They may be excessively scratching themself and have a runny nose and watery eyes.
While other issues could be underlying the medical condition, a plausible one includes spring allergy.
These are caused by toxic allergens that invade our environment during springtime.
Common antigens include trees, weed pollens, mold, dust, mildew, etc. These may cause multiple symptoms, ranging from mild to severe in intensity.
It is important to remember that these reactions are similar to being bitten by a flea. So getting an accurate diagnosis may be crucial to effective treatment.
In this blog post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about dog spring allergies.
Starting from its detection and symptoms, we'll move on to preventative measures to ensure your pet stays healthy and active.
Your dog deserves the best, after all!
Spring Allergy in Dogs: Symptoms to Look Out
Suspecting your dog of having a spring allergy? Here are a few signs to look out for:
Your dog may scratch, bite, or lick its coat excessively.
The areas most affected, including the face, ears, paws, and belly, may appear reddish and inflamed as your dog tries to relieve the itchiness through harsh rubbing.
The area may also become slightly discolored, depending on the force that your pet is exerting.
This may further give rise to higher shedding as your pet fixates on an area and nibbles to alleviate the pain.
2. Sneezing and Coughing
Respiratory issues are one of the most common symptoms of spring allergies.
Your pet may sneeze, cough, and even face difficulty breathing. Their noses may begin to run along with watery eyes.
3. Ear infections
Your veterinarian may examine your dog’s ears to give a proper diagnosis.
This is because the vet is looking at your pet objectively for potential infections caused by the spring allergy.
You may notice discomfort in your pet’s demeanor as they shake their head or scratch their ears.
4. Digestive issues
Generally, some diseases may trigger other medical conditions. Spring allergies may give rise to problems in the digestive system.
Your dog may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
5. Behavioral problems
Have you ever noticed yourself getting lethargic and irritable when you’re not feeling well? Well, the same rule applies to dogs.
They may experience trouble sleeping because of a sense of unease and discomfort.
As a result, they may become easily agitated and restless, contrary to their usual demeanor.
How Are Spring Allergies Diagnosed in Dogs?
Is your pet exhibiting signs of spring allergy? Do the symptoms seem too severe to be treatable at home?
Then it may be time to take your canine companion to a veterinary professional with the knowledge to diagnose accurately.
This will assist in tailoring an effective and individualized treatment.
The veterinarian may employ a combination of detailed history taking, a physical exam, evaluation of laboratory test results, and their response to various allergens presented.
Here, we have compiled a list of tests that may assist in diagnosing spring allergies accurately:
1. Physical Examination
In a physical examination, the veterinarian will inspect observable signs of seasonal allergies in dogs.
They may look at the general body condition and signs indicating sickness.
These include accounting for your dog's behavior, sitting, walking, and body parts that exhibit apparent discomfort.
Seasonal allergies in dogs usually manifest as skin-related symptoms.
So the professional may look for skin irritation or inflammation signs, such as redness, itching, lesions, etc.
They may also examine the eyes and ears for signs of harmful bacteria and if they have caused significant swelling.
2. Skin Scratching/ Scraping Tests
You might know your dog is allergic to a substance during spring. But you may not know what exactly is causing your dog discomfort.
In a skin scratching test, an allergist takes a tiny amount of potential allergens onto the skin.
They then rub the area so it can penetrate better.
Your pet's skin may remain unaffected when exposed to something it is not allergic to. But it may start itching and swell when exposed to triggering factors, such as pollen.
This test is often used to detect immediate reactions. Still, it may be able to detect mild allergy symptoms.
3. Intradermal Skin Testing
Your veterinarian may start with skin scratching or scraping tests to get an overview of your pet's reactions to various potential allergens.
But it is essential to remember that those results may need to be more accurate.
They're mainly used as a reference to narrow down the list of substances for an intradermal test.
Suppose the veterinary professional detects a change in skin evenness or color with a particular antigen.
In that case, intradermal skin testing may be employed for a confirmed and accurate diagnosis.
The veterinarian may insert the antigen under the skin layer with a syringe or needle. They may then look for signs of swelling (also known as a ‘wheel') as it dissolves.
Note: It is important to remember that intradermal skin testing may trigger higher allergic reactions due to more significant contact with the allergen.
So we recommend a skin scratching test before it to minimize potential pain and discomfort.
4. Blood Testing
Skin testing may not be suitable for dogs taking certain types of medication or hypersensitivity to specific allergies.
In such cases, a blood test which is a relatively expensive method for allergy testing may be performed. It begins by carefully taking your pet's blood sample.
Then, the veterinarian may add various types of antigens to observe the number of antibodies produced.
The higher the count, the more likely your pet is to be allergic to that substance.
This method produces equally effective results. The only disadvantage is the cost and the time taken to obtain the results.
5. Elimination Diet
Has your dog's dietary intake changed lately? Sometimes, allergic reactions aren't rooted in environmental factors but in your pet's food.
A diet elimination test may determine that to confirm the diagnosis.
Here, the veterinarian may do a physical check-up and inquire about your pet's eating habits.
They may recommend eliminating specific foods to inspect if the allergic reactions stop.
This is an easy and relatively straightforward method. All you'll have to do is remove potential allergens from your dog’s diet.
This will help ensure your pet stays healthy and active.
Treatment of Spring Allergy in Dogs
Are you concerned about the impact of spring allergy on your dog's well-being? Well, don't worry.
It's more common than you think and completely treatable with the guidance of a veterinarian.
The professional may examine your dog's condition and tailor a health plan based on your dog’s unique needs.
They may prescribe one of the options below to restore your pet to optimum health.
1. Avoid Allergens
Sometimes, the solution is much simpler than we realize.
In this case, your veterinarian may not feel the need to give your dog high doses of medication or injections.
They may recommend limiting exposure to whatever is causing the symptoms.
For example, suppose the diagnostic criteria considered pollen to be the underlying cause of your pet's symptoms.
Then the easiest way to stay healthy is to reduce the time your canine companion spends outside.
Your pet may spend time outdoors once springtime has passed and the number of potential antigens has reduced.
2. Antihistamine treatment
Did you know that a chemical known as histamine triggers spring allergy in dogs? Yes, you heard that right.
All the inflammation, itching, and coughing your dog may be experiencing is due to this substance.
Antihistamine works by blocking histamine, thereby reducing the likelihood of the symptoms experienced.
Common antihistamines used in curing seasonal allergies include Clemastine (Tavist), Trimeprazine (Temaril-P, Vanectyl-P), and Astemizole (Hismanal).
It is important to remember that correct dosage plays a crucial role here.
Some may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, etc. So you should always consult with a veterinarian about it.
They will assist in deciding the most suitable antihistamine type and dosage.
3. Anti-inflammatory steroids
The veterinarian may use steroids to reduce inflammation if antihistamines treatment is ineffective.
These may assist in controlling the itchiness and redness by successfully blocking the immune response.
Common inflammatory steroids for seasonal allergies include Prednisone, Prednisolone, and Dexamethasone.
It is worth noting that this method is usually a supplementary aid to other treatments.
It is rarely (if ever) the primary method for controlling allergies because of the potential side effects it may have.
These include constant sweating, insomnia, indigestion, and weight gain.
So you must consult a veterinarian who may prescribe the appropriate steroids and treatment based on what they consider is the best choice for your pet.
4. Shampoo Therapy
Medicated shampoos and conditioners can help reduce spring allergy symptoms by soothing irritated skin.
They contain ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, and hydrocortisone, known to have healing properties for inflammation.
You may get these from the counter of your local pet store. But it is advisable to consult a veterinarian and purchase one based on their recommendation.
This is because some shampoos, although great, may not be suitable for certain breeds and skin types.
You may also ask the vet how often you should bathe your dog.
This is because under-bathing may be inefficient, whereas over-bathing may strip your pet's skin of natural oils, leading to dryness.
It all depends on your furry buddy’s skin condition and unique needs.
Note: You may also try home remedies, such as oatmeal baths, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Immunotherapy or allergy shots are a treatment that increases the immune system's resistance to allergens.
It begins when a veterinary dermatologist diagnoses the exact antigen that your pet is allergic to.
The vet then gives weekly or monthly injections that cater to your dog's unique needs. It is important to remember that this method takes time and effort.
It may take six months to 1 year to see a noticeable improvement.
But it is one of the most effective and long-term remedies against spring allergies for dogs.
Do Spring Allergies in Dogs Get Better With Time?
Spring allergies are caused by environmental factors such as pollen, ragweed, trees, grass, dust, and mold.
These allergens can threaten the well-being of various animals due to the toxins they carry.
Depending on their genetic composition and heredity, some dogs may be susceptible to their effects and get sick as they inhale the pathogen-carrying air.
The harmful bacteria in these allergens may trigger inflammatory responses in your canine companions.
These may manifest in runny noses, excessive sneezing, headaches, dry coughs, and watery eyes.
While home remedies may help manage mild allergy symptoms in dogs, more severe cases may require medical treatment.
It's important to remember that there are no definitive cures for spring allergies.
As long as the underlying environmental factors exist, they will likely cause reactions.
But you can take preventive measures to minimize the symptoms and ensure physical robustness.
Limiting exposure to allergens can help minimize the risk of sickness during this time.
We recommend minimizing outdoor time unless necessary and consuming a healthy diet to strengthen the immune system.
Additionally, you can follow the advice outlined in the ‘Treatment' section to improve overall well-being.
Spring allergies can be challenging for dogs and their owners.
But you can ensure optimum health for your canine companion with informed decision-making and careful management.
Spring Allergy in Dogs: Conclusion
Springtime can bring loads of joy and vibrancy. But it may also cause many illnesses and allergic reactions among dogs.
As a responsible pet parent, you must ensure your dog stays healthy and active.
We recommend consulting a veterinarian as soon as the symptoms seem too severe to be treatable at home.
Remember, the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the treatment can start.
A professional will have all the necessary knowledge to devise a health plan tailored to your pet’s needs.
They can guide you regarding everything you need to know about the condition and its cure based on breed and skin type.
We hope this article provided sufficient insights into the intricacies of spring allergy in dogs.
Let this be an opportunity to bond with your canine companion as you go through the joys and adversity of the seasons together.