When the pollens fly - seasonal allergies in dogs and cats
Spring is slowly coming back to us. Flowers and trees are blooming outside, which makes many of us very happy. But not all, since there are also people who are allergic to pollen, which fly more in a certain season. But what about our pets? Can dogs and cats also get such allergies? How can this be recognized and treated? And how can we support our loved ones? You can find the answers and helpful tips for the allergy season in our blog.
What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies are allergic reactions of the immune system to seasonally occurring substances. Allergies that occur independently of certain seasons, such as food allergies to peanuts or crustaceans, are different.
But do such allergies also exist in pets?
Unfortunately yes, our four-legged friends can also develop seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies in pets are a form of environmental allergy, technically known as atopic dermatitis. This is an allergic reaction to allergens, i.e. allergy-causing substances from the environment such as grass and flower pollen, which occur particularly at certain times of the year. In addition, pets usually have allergic reactions to insects such as house dust mites or fleas, but these occur independently of the season.
Why do these allergies occur at certain times of the year?
In the case of a pollen allergy, this is due to the fact that pollen is increasingly on the move at fixed times. Pollen is nothing more than pollen, which is released into the air by many plants to pollinate other plants. Depending on the species, this happens at different times of the year, usually from February to October. Trees, for example, emit a lot of pollen during these months, and the so-called pollen load is then very high. Trees such as hazel and alder are already in high season at the beginning of March, grass and herbs only from June.
What are the signs of a seasonal allergy?
What are the signs in the dog?Although pollen allergies are not among the most common allergies in dogs, the number is constantly increasing, just like in humans. How do you recognize a seasonal allergy in your dog?
Unlike us bipeds, this one is rarely characterized by a runny nose or watery eyes. Dogs do not have classic hay fever, but rather widespread irritation and inflammation of the skin, particularly on the abdomen and paws.
How do I recognize this in my cat?Symptoms are similar to dogs with itching and rash. House tigers scratch or lick themselves more, especially in the head and belly area. They have red skin and can even get bald spots. On rare occasions, they develop watery eyes or sneeze a lot.
Can a seasonal allergy be treated?
Unfortunately, allergies cannot be cured, but they can be treated easily. You cannot eliminate the cause, the overreaction of the immune system, but you can effectively alleviate the symptoms. The focus is on the treatment of acute symptoms and the long-term reduction of the problems.
In the event of an acute occurrence, pets initially receive symptomatic therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs such as cortisone, for example through an injection or in the form of shampoos or locally effective agents.
In order to achieve long-lasting relief of the symptoms, you can have a so-called hyposensitization carried out. With this therapy, your animal receives small injections of the allergy-causing substance over a long period of time so that its immune system gradually gets used to it and no longer reacts so strongly to it.
How can you support your animal with a seasonal allergy?
The first step is an accurate diagnosis. Because if you know exactly what your darling is allergic to, you can take better action against it. You can get clarity by visiting your veterinarian for a blood test or skin test.
If you know which pollen your four-legged friend is allergic to, you can use a so-called pollen calendar to find out in which months the pollen fly and with the help of weather services you can even determine the pollen concentration in the air on a daily basis.
If your dog is allergic to certain pollens, it is best to only go for a walk when there are as few of these pollens in the air as possible, depending on the time of day or after rain.
With a house cat, you should ensure that you only ventilate the room when the pollen count is low. Regular cleaning and vacuuming of the home can also reduce the pollen concentration. If possible, free cats should not go outside during this time.
Special skin and coat care is particularly effective in the case of severe itching. Bathing with antiseptic and moisturizing shampoos, such as Lill's dog shampoo or Lila Loves It , can ease skin problems. The use of oils such as fish oil or vegetable oils such as evening primrose oil, linseed, hemp or safflower oil from Lila-Loves-It , which are simply mixed with the feed, can support irritated skin. Balms like Lila-Loves-It's First Aid Balm are also recommended by vets for caring for irritated pets.
Regular nose and eye cleaning could also help your four-legged friend. For this we recommend the washable cleaning pads Cleanies from LILA LOVES IT . These can be used together with the LILA LOVES IT eye care to gently remove dirt, adhesions and tear stones from the area around the eyes and thus prevent eye infections.
Healthy through every season despite allergiesAs you can see, there are many ways to get a dog or cat's seasonal allergy under control. An exact diagnosis, an individual therapy and a lot of care on your part can help your darling to get through a pollen-rich season without any problems.