With the much welcomed warmer weather comes a few unwanted things which includes allergies bought on by pollens and other micro-organisms that float in the environment. Bushes, trees and plants are in full spring bloom and this can really affect your dog (and other pets) by irritating their respiratory tracts causing coughs, sneezes and runny itchy eyes to name just a few of the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
These allergies can affect just about every part of their bodies which includes, ears, eyes, nose, skin and even your dog's immune system so knowing the signs to watch out means you can nip the problem in the bud which in turn will make life a lot easier for your pet to cope with when everything is in full bloom. Below are 5 signs to watch out for which could be clear indications your pet is suffering from a seasonal allergy.
Redness around your dog's eyes and a runny discharge – the problem is when allergens get into your dog's eyes and are left untreated, it can turn into several painful conditions which includes the following:
If you notice any sort of discharge from your dog's ears and they are scratching or shaking their heads, they could have a host of accumulated allergens lodged in their ear canals and their inner pinna which is their ear flaps. This build up of allergens can cause them to become inflamed which is not only extremely irritating for your pet but it's a painful condition too.
Dogs that suffer with ear infections and inflammation are more predisposed to suffer from bacteria or yeast infections and the fact these are already present in their ear canals makes the perfect environment from them to thrive in. You may even find your dog continually rubs their affected ears on your furniture leaving smelly marks behind.
Dogs suffering from allergies that affect their breathing will have a nasal discharge and be prone to sneezing. Because dogs spend their time checking out the environment around them with their noses, it stands to reason they to pick up allergens in their nasal passages which then cause inflammation and irritation. The discharge can be watery or full of mucous and occasionally there might be a bit of blood present depending on how severe the irritation actually is.
There are allergens around that affect a dog's windpipe (trachea) and because of the proximity of the nose and the throat to the oropharynx, mucous from the nasal discharge can enter into the dog's throat which then causes them to cough, gag. It can make it very difficult for your dog to swallow which means they can't drink or eat very easily. These are the more common symptoms a dog displays when they are suffering from respiratory allergens.
You may find that your dog develops skin irritations which they will not leave alone, licking, scratching and chewing at the areas which means they develop into what is known as a hot spot. A dog's skin is their largest organ on their bodies which means they can be affected by allergens anywhere on them. Dermatitis is one condition that dogs will attempt to remedy themselves by licking, chewing and scratching at the affected area which could be their paws, armpits, flanks, groin or in skin folds to name but a few of the more common areas affected.
The problem is that although your dog is trying to make things better for themselves, they do in fact, end up making their condition worse. Eventually they lose their hair which is a condition known as pyotraumatic dermatitis more commonly known as hot spots"".
If you have any concerns about a seasonal allergy your dog may be suffering from, you should make an appointment for your vet so they can give them a thorough examination to determine what is causing the allergy. The vet would then recommend an appropriate treatment to make your dog's life a lot more comfortable. However, because it can be hard to find the root cause of a canine allergy it may take a bit of time to find out what's triggering it but the vet would be able to recommend a topical or other treatment to help the irritation wherever it happens to be.