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Seasonal Allergies in Pets?
M Duffy Jones, DVM posted:
If you're like me, you suffer from seasonal allergies. Not only do people suffer from seasonal allergies, but so do my four-legged patients.

Pets' seasonal allergy signs are a little different than ours. Most often they include:
• Ear infections
• Runny eyes
• For dogs, scratching under the arm pits and on their sides
• For cats, intense licking and rubbing of the stomach, sides, and face

For pets with seasonal allergies, symptoms arise at the same time every year and will usually not last all year long. The pets that are itching all year long typically will have another cause for their itching.
I see many pets around the same time every year for itching and scratching. Once I figure out a pattern and rule out other possible causes, I tell pet owners to start treating their pets' allergies every year before the signs start. By staying ahead of the symptoms, your vet can prescribe a lower dosage of drugs and, many times, drugs with fewer side effects. When itching and scratching is already intense, it can take more drugs at higher dosages to get it under control.

If you think your pet has seasonal allergies, talk to your veterinarian to see which therapies he or she would recommend. You'll have better success at keeping your pet comfortable by getting the jump on his symptoms as early as possible.

Have you ever had a pet with seasonal allergies? Share your experiences with the Community about what you did to prevent or relieve your pet's allergy woes?
concorde007 responded:
This is my first year with my rabbits and they developed Sarcoptes scabiei mites, iam not sure if this is seasonal. I really hope not, cant see their suffering

But one of my rabbit is constantly having running nose. I believe it is because of the middle east weather. I sometimes keep shifting it inside the house and outside to my balcony. Is this normal with all rabbits!!
M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to concorde007's response:
Sarcoptes is not seasonal because it is a mite, so talk to your veterinarian on the best way to treat them. Also a runny nose can be from allergies, but also from more serious respiratory diseases, so I would have that rabbit examined.
concorde007 replied to M Duffy Jones, DVM's response:
Many thanks Jones, we got it checked with the vet, they just say its due to temperature. So I hope it is correct
M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to concorde007's response:
I am very happy things turned out well. I am always concerned about respiratory disease in rabbits - so I am glad to hear things are okay.
CMH7054 responded:
Latte is a 9 year old Yorkie. She has been on a food trial and that has helped with her food allergies. She also seems to have seasonal allergies and is on a second short course of Cortalone this spring. She scratches her sides and armpits a lot and that has caused the steroid use again. Poor thing-I don't know who is more stressed by this-her or me. She has never had a skin scraping to see if it's yeast or not-should I ask for this? She is not that bad-she does not lose hair, but sometimes she scratches so much she breaks the skin under her arms. I put Neosporin on it.
M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to CMH7054's response:
It sounds like she has a good case of food allergies and seasonal allergies. It never hurts to get some cytology on the skin to rule it out. It might be a good idea to mention it next time you see your vet. However, I have a lot of pets like Latte who have to be on a short course steroids once to twice a year.
CMH7054 replied to M Duffy Jones, DVM's response:
She is on the short course many times a year, although I'm hoping that now that we have a food that she doesn't seem to be allergic to, it will be less. Is it possible that after a while, the type of cortisone doesn't work any more? She has been on Cortalone for years, off and on. I will definitely ask for a test of some sort, because it could be yeast as well. I am going to go back through all her records. She did try Atopica, to no avail.
M Duffy Jones, DVM replied to CMH7054's response:
Yes, changing the food can help with the allergies. Many times it lets you be on fewer courses of steroids. If the steroids stop working then many times there is another problem such as yeast or bacteria. You have to make sure you are treating all the concurrent infections as well as treating the allergy. I do like the drug Atopica as an alternative for pets on steroids, however, if things are not working, it either means the pet is highly allergic or you have another concurrent problem such as yeast, flea allergy, thyroid disease, mites, or a bacterial infection. Good luck — allergies can be very frustrating.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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