Yes, just like many of us humans, animals can also suffer from seasonal allergies. Just like humans, some dogs and cats will also get an allergic conjunctivitis, or red and irritated eyes from exposure to dusts and pollens. Rather than sneezing, most dogs show allergy symptoms through their skin and extensions of their skin including their ears and anal glands.
The most common allergy symptom is overall itchiness. Many dogs will get itchy all over. They will scratch their ears, necks, backs, chew their feet and down their legs. Their skin may appear red and inflamed - this is usually much easier to see on dogs with short coats or with light coloured fur. Depending on the severity of the itch, some dogs may also cause themselves infections by chewing too much!
Does your dog get ear infections? Ear infections are often a sign of an allergy. Usually they’ll start by scratching at their ears more or shaking their head a lot. This can progress to very red and inflamed ears with lots of discharge.
Many dogs with seasonal allergies will get a seasonal ear infection, while others will get year round ear infections. Some of these year round dogs are also always itchy and always chewing their feet, even in 3 feet of snow! These dogs often have a food allergy and a diet change may be in their future.
Ear infections in dogs are usually caused by either bacteria or yeast, or a combination of both bacteria and yeast. It is important for us to differentiate which it is so we can use the appropriate medication to resolve the infection. To prevent infections some dogs will need regular ear cleanings with pet ear cleaners.
Anal glands are scent glands that sit on either side of the anus. During a normal bowel movement, cats and dogs anal glands are expressed onto their feces as another form of scent marking.
If you notice your dog scooting their bum across the floor, or constantly licking at their hind end, they may have an anal gland issue. Some dogs can have ongoing issues with their anal glands and require assistance expressing them. Anal glands may just be difficult to express, but they can also become infected. In some cases, this is also a sign of an allergy.
If your dog has some or all of these symptoms and is becoming more uncomfortable as the warm weather picks up, make sure to book an appointment with your vet so we can help get them feeling more comfortable.
Weekends, Holidays and After-hours we are available 24 hours daily 365 days a year at our location for local service by your veterinary team. Please call our office in case of emergency.
Please note - Weekend, Holiday and After-hour service is offered only to current clientele who have not transferred their files to another facility and whose animals are a patient of our practice that has been examined by one of our doctors in the past 24 months.
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Egan Fife Animal Hospital