Much to my delight, spring is finally here. Although I must admit that this winter has been one of the mildest that we've had since I have been living in Georgia, I'm so glad that old man winter is gone into hibernation for a while. Unfortunately, many people and pets don't share in my spring-time bliss because during this time of year they or atopy.
Just like humans, dogs and cats can be allergic to pollen from the plants and grasses that bloom when the weather becomes warm. They experience the same watery, itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion and hay fever that many people suffer from, but may also bite and lick their feet or other parts of their body, which leads to skin inflammation and infections. In addition, some pets develop ear infections and experience hairloss as a result of the allergens.
Benadryl, Chlorpheniramine (Aller-Chor, Chlor-Trimeton) and Clemastine (Day Hist, Allerhist, Tavist) are safe over-the-counter antihistamines that can be used in pets that experience inhalant allergies. Other things that you can do at home to help keep your precious pet at ease are limiting their time outside (especially during periods of high pollen count), washing their feet after coming in from the outside and keeping your grass cut short.
If these OTC medicines don't seem to be doing the trick, many other prescription anti-histamines, allergy meds and shampoos are available at your vet's office. Some pets have to get steroid injections to relieve their symptoms, but this is only a temporary fix and does not actually remove the cause. If you've tried everything but nothing seems to help, your pet should be allergy tested to find out exactly what he or she is allergic to, and may have to get allergy shots periodically to limit flare ups.
Remember to never give any medication to your pet without finding out the proper dose and consulting with your veterinarian first.
is another common problem in places like Georgia where the weather doesn't get too cold, so flea prevention like Advantage, Advantix, Frontline or Comfortis, is a must year-round.
Pets don't have to suffer just because the season has changed. There are many options to keep your four-legged baby comfortable on the inside, no matter what the season is on the outside.