Environmental allergens, also known as atopic dermatitis, are one of the most common causes of itching in pets, especially dogs. It is more common in dogs than in cats and often occurs between the ages of 1 to 3. It occurs when your pet is hypersensitive to one or more substances in the environment. Dogs are often predisposed to environmental allergens and some dogs are more prone, including boxers, retrievers, Dalmatians, terriers, bulldogs, and beagles. If you suspect your pet may is suffering from environmental allergens, it’s important to take them to The Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale, NY for an exam as soon as possible. Delaying veterinary care and treatment may lead to more extensive problems, such as infections from them scratching their skin.
Common Environmental Allergens
There are several potential irritants that may cause your pet to experience the symptoms of environmental allergens. Just like humans that suffer from seasonal allergies in Ferndale, your pet may also experience more intense symptoms at certain times of the year. Some of the most common environmental allergens that may affect your pet include:
- Dust mites
- Pollen from plants, weeds and trees
- Animal dander
- Mold spores
Symptoms of Environmental Allergies
As your pet’s body is attempting to reject the allergens, they may experience a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms are skin-related, which cause atopic dermatitis, which is extreme itchiness and inflammation of the skin. The more uncomfortable the symptoms are, the more your pet will try to relieve them, often by biting, licking and chewing on their skin. Unfortunately, the more they bite at their skin, the more problems are created, including hair loss or infection on open wounds. It is extremely important to seek veterinary care as soon as you notice your pet is biting at their skin because the worse the infection gets, the more difficult it will be to clear up.
Your pet’s veterinarian may do allergy testing, which is as simple as collecting blood and sending it off to the lab. Once the allergen is known, veterinary care may include various treatments, such as small injections of the allergen in order to desensitize their immune system, and/or using apoquel and/or cytopoint based on the diagnostic findings . The vet may also prescribe corticosteroids or antihistamines to help relieve the itching and discomfort.
Schedule an Appointment Today!
For more information about environmental allergens and dogs or cats, contact the Animal Hospital of Sullivan Country to schedule an exam. You can call us at 845-292-6711!