News & Advice

Your pet can have seasonal allergies just like you

Sep 1, 2023 | Cats, Dogs, Pet Health

Did you know the skin is the largest organ in the body?

Skin takes all the wear and tear that nature dishes out, not only to us but to our beloved pets. With the change in seasons, a few issues can arise.

Spring can bring on allergies for all of us (e.g. hay fever and dry skin), and your pets can get these too. In our animals, these cause different symptoms and usually affect their eyes, ears, skin and paws.

Contact with environmental allergens such as pollens, grass or dust mites can cause intense itchiness of the face, feet, ears, chest and tummy. Environmental allergies are managed with medications, medicated washes, environmental changes, and diets that support the skin.


Vet-only petfoods help manage allergies

There are vet-only diets that can help to prevent skin conditions. These diets will help support healthy skin by providing a patented mix of:

  • B-vitamins and amino acids; support the barrier function of the skin
  • Turmeric, Aloe Vera, Vitamin C and Taurine; improve natural defences and promote healing
  • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and improve waterproofness
  • Contain broken down proteins, so the food is gentler for the animal’s tummy to absorb


Flea allergies

The other problem as we move into spring is fleas; yes, those nasty parasites. Our pets can be sensitive to fleas and can develop allergies causing serious skin disease. Flea allergies can be quite severe; even if fleas are not seen on your pet, all it takes one flea bite.

Skin issues can vary widely; If you are concerned, don’t hesitate to book a Vet consult. Your Vet can then diagnose your pet’s condition, treat your pet, and make a nutritional recommendation.


4 Signs that your pet may have a seasonal allergy

While human symptoms of seasonal allergies often include sneezing or watery eyes, dogs show seasonal allergies differently. They absorb airborne allergens mainly through their skin, not by inhaling it. A cut or tear in the surface of the skin, such as from scratching, allows allergens in. Strengthening the skin through proper nutrition will help to decrease the passage of allergens through the skin barrier and improve the skin healing ability.



When to visit your Vet

  • Strong odour
  • Discharge
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Scratching or pawing at ears
  • Shaking head

Allergies are a common cause of ear problems.



When to visit your Vet

  • Itching
  • Excessive chewing at paws
  • Grooming is removing fur
  • Paw redness or soreness
  • Discolouration from licking

Itchy paws can be a sign of allergies – may even to the same pollen you’re allergic to!



When to visit your Vet

  • Swollen eyes
  • Reddened eyes
  • Weeping eyes
  • Painful eyes – rubbing eyes
  • Eye discharge

Try gently wiping away mild eye discharge daily.



When to visit your Vet

  • Constant and obsessive grooming
  • Skin redness or lesions
  • Itching
  • Hair loss

Seasonal allergies are a major cause of many skin problems.

For further advice, please talk to with your Anexa Vet.


Will my itchy pet be alright if I just leave it?

No, is the short and sharp answer.

When your pet develops an itch, the problem can soon enter a vicious cycle. Your pet’s nails and mouth are often not very clean, and therefore itching can damage the skin and allow bacteria to cause an infection in the skin. This causes another problem on top of the original cause of the itch (fleas, mites, allergies).

The longer you leave your pet scratching and injuring its own skin, the worse the infection can get. It will soon reach a stage where we need to use medication to stop this cycle, while we also still need to find the original cause of the itch and deal with that.

As the world is dealing with the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria (think MRSA for example), it is our duty to protect the antibiotics that we have got and we need your help to do so: the fewer antibiotics we need to use in your pet the better.

If you bring your itchy pet in earlier rather than later, we have a much better chance to break the cycle by finding and removing the cause of the problem without needing to use antibiotic tablets. Instead, we can use a change of food or a simple medicated wash to cleanse and soothe the skin. The result will be a happy itch-free pet, you as an owner not having to deal with (as many) tablets and we as your vet relieved to be able to do our bit in protecting World Health through appropriate antibiotic stewardship.

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