Have you ever suffered from a seasonal allergy? Fall weather is notoriously unpredictable and your furry family members are just as likely to suffer from fall allergies as you are. Though there is no pollen explosion during fall, pets have to contend with cooler temperatures, wind, falling leaves, and mold that can cause skin issues and, though less likely but still possible, respiratory issues.
Causes of Fall Allergies
As most plants enter a regeneration cycle and lose their leaves, they release a number of allergens into the air. Fall winds make sure that these allergens make their way to you and your pets. Many pets react negatively to dying plants like pigweed, ragweed, sagebrush, or curly dock. Seasonal changes can also give rise to inhalant allergies and contact allergies.
Pets react differently to fall allergies. Dogs do not generally show any signs of respiratory discomfort, but their skin will speak volumes. Cats, on the other hand, may develop asthma or chronic bronchitis along with itchy skin.
As fall settles in so do fleas and other parasites. Some of the worse flea infestations are likely to occur in the late fall season as the air cools down and flea activity increases. Fleas don’t like extreme heat or extreme cold. They prefer more temperate environments, and this makes our homes and pet beds ideal places for fleas to live. And, remember that just because you do not see fleas doesn’t mean they are not there. Fleas spend very little time on the host (your pet). Once fleas bite for their meal, they jump off of their host and live in the host’s environment where they lay their eggs.
Speaking of bites, for a pet who is allergic to fleas, a single flea bite can wreak havoc and cause a severe allergy and relentless itching and chewing leading to hair loss, infection, and painful open sores. This is why it is extremely important for your pets to be on a year-round flea preventive program. There are many preventive flea regimens ranging from topical to oral. Speak to our experienced vets in Apex, North Carolina to find the best option for your pet.
Identifying Fall Allergies
Pet owners know that sneezing and watery eyes can be signs of allergies in their pets, but these are not the only symptoms to watch out for. Keep an eye out for signs like redness of the skin, itchiness, fur loss, ear and eye infections, pain in the stomach or diarrhea, and the appearance of bumps on the skin. If you find your pet chewing or scratching their skin incessantly, bear in mind that they might be suffering from a fall allergy.
Treating Pets at Home
One of the most effective ways to ease your fur-baby’s distress is to bathe them regularly with a soap-free, veterinarian-approved shampoo. Not only will this help prevent environmental allergies from worsening if caught early, but it will also relieve existing skin conditions. Before making dietary changes, administering any medication, or opting for complementary and alternative treatment options such as herbal medication, consult an experienced Apex, NC veterinarian who will help tailor the solution to meet your pet’s needs.
When to Visit a Vet in Apex, NC
Pets in any or constant discomfort need to be seeing their veterinarian. Keep in mind that allergies are life-long issues often with no cure. So if your pet is a long-term sufferer of allergies, then an experienced veterinarian is your best bet in giving your pet relief. After assessing the cause of your pet’s allergies, your vet can formulate a therapy program that helps manage the allergy symptoms with a combination of the right pet medication, dosages, dietary changes and supplements.
In typical cases, your veterinarian asks you a series of questions about diet, existing medication, as well as overall lifestyle of your pet. After gathering the medical history of your pet, the vet will check your pet thoroughly for internal and external signs of allergies and discomfort. Depending on the extent and type of primary allergy and secondary skin infection, it is likely that skin testing or blood work will be recommended. Your vet may also prescribe oral and/or injectable medications to help alleviate the signs and symptoms of your pets allergies.
Dealing with Your Pet’s Allergies
Generally, your pet can show year-round symptoms if the allergen comes from inside your home, is related to diet, or if he or she has suffered from chronic seasonal allergies. With fall allergies, you are likely to see an increase in symptoms after exposure to outdoor conditions that are unique to the change of the season.
Consulting with a veterinarian in Apex, NC is a first step in getting your pet relief and managing the conditions causing or contributing to their allergies. The vet will perform a physical exam on your furry family member, prescribe the right medication, and offer tips about how to keep your pet comfortable throughout the season according to your lifestyle.