It is important to understand that allergies can be managed, but not cured, just as with humans.
“Management regimens might include increased frequency of bathing (washing pollens off the skin surface), antimicrobials or antibiotics, flea prevention, fatty acids, antihistamines, change in diet, steroids, and immunotherapy, also known as desensitization or hyposensitization.
The use of the latter can be determined through a good step-wise diagnostic approach along with allergy skin testing and administered by way of allergy shots or oral allergy drops,” says Patterson.
When it is time to take your pet in for allergy skin testing?
“Typically, dogs should have allergy symptoms for at least 5-6 months out of the year before considering skin testing for environmental allergies,” Patterson recommends.
Rainfall cuts down on airborne pollen and may provide itch relief to pets, but at the same time rain may cause plants to produce more pollen over the next few weeks, she said.
Indeed, rain fall might worsen flea and mold allergies because moisture and humidity are favorable to fleas and mold.
“Given the mild winter and lack of national weather fronts during the 2011-2012 seasons, pollen is likely to be at an all-time high this year. Consequently, there likely will be many itchy pets this year,” says Patterson.
For more information on pet alergies please visit http://vetmed.tamu.edu/large-animal-hospital/dermatology/allergies.
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.