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Pets have allergies, too! – Memphis Area Pet Health

Posted 05.05.15 by Emily Lindsey

Ever wonder why pets tend to lick their feet?

Dr. Apryl Barton is here to share some of her knowledge on pet allergies today:

You may notice this licking occurs a lot more frequently around the Spring, and most of the time it’s from having environmental allergies.  Just like people, all of the pollen circulating in the air can cause dogs and cats to have symptoms related to allergies.

The most common signs include licking feet, getting red bumps on their skin, itching, and ear infections. These signs occur because pollen causes inflammation of the skin and ears. With inflammation comes itching. Bacteria and yeast can begin to overgrow and in turn cause infections. Less commonly, pets can exhibit upper respiratory signs, such as sneezing and watery eyes.

Image courtesy of animals.howstuffworks.com

A good way to help prevent mild signs of allergies is to wipe your pets’ feet and body off with a damp towel when they come in from outside. Wiping off pollen before it causes inflammation of the skin can help decrease or even prevent mild clinical signs associated with allergies.

You may also discuss with your veterinarian if any medications may help alleviate symptoms and get your pet back to feeling 100%.

Image rights: ccceh.org

Although most allergies are not overly worrisome, some dogs and cats can develop significant signs related to allergies and require medical attention.

Recurring, painful skin and ear infections, upper respiratory and eye infections, and overall discomfort occur commonly. Allergies can be one of the most frustrating problems to deal with, can require extensive diagnostics, and can become pretty expensive due to repeated trips to the veterinarian.

Certain breeds are predisposed to environmental allergies, but any dog or cat can develop allergies.

Image courtesy of aspengrovevet.com

If you have any questions or are concerned your pet may have allergies, please call your veterinarian to set up an appointment. 

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