Written by Jodie Snyder, Author/Blogger of Happy Dog Phoenix
This spring, we are seeing many wonderful wildflower displays but unfortunately this bonanza of blossoms is causing many of our dogs to suffer from springtime allergies.
Dr. Mitchell Song, DVM, DACVD, a dermatology specialist at VetMED in Phoenix, has been treating many canine allergy sufferers this spring. “We have been very, very busy with many itchy dogs,’’ says Song
How VETMED can help with your dog’s itching from springtime allergies
Dermatologists like Song are uniquely qualified to help dogs with their springtime allergies since unlike humans, dogs’ allergic reactions usually show up as itchiness in their skin and coat.
Instead of sneezing and coughing, dogs with allergies do a lot of chewing, licking, biting and scratching as they try to take care of the allergic reaction by themselves.
Sometimes, springtime allergies can also cause dogs to develop ear infections, says Song.
Usually, only about 10 percent of dogs with allergies with have any upper respiratory symptoms such as congestion or eye watering, he adds.
To get a better read on what dogs are allergic to, veterinarians like Song can perform a scratch test on them, similar to the testing that humans undergo for their allergies. These diagnostic tests make it easier to pinpoint the cause of your dog’s skin condition and help determine treatment that can quickly address your dog’s discomfort.
How you can help your dog with her springtime allergies
In addition to prescribed medication, your dog may also benefit from over-the-counter fish oil capsules, Song says. Essential fatty acids like fish oil can ease the inflammation caused by allergies, and reduce itchy skin and dandruff. Song also recommends extra bathing and grooming for your pooch during allergy season; good hygiene practices, including more frequent washings of bedding, can help control the amount of pollens your dog is exposed to.
Left untreated your dog’s allergies can become more difficult to treat, Song says. As your dog bites and scratches her itchy spots, she creates damaged, exposed skin that can be susceptible to secondary bacterial infections.
“Allergies are not a life-threatening disease but they can really cause misery,’’ warns Song.