Spring into Action this Season with Vets4Pets Ayrshire!

As the flowers begin to bloom and the weather warms, spring brings with it a sense of rejuvenation. However, for some pets, it also marks the beginning of seasonal allergies. Just like humans, our furry companions can suffer from allergies provoked by environmental factors such as pollen and grass. It is important to recognise the signs of allergies in your pets and take proactive measures to ensure their well-being. Local vets, Kirstin and Caolan, have given us some advice to help pet owners this springtime season.

Spring allergies in pets can manifest in numerous ways. Kirstin said, “In practice, some of the most common signs of allergies in pets are excessive scratching, licking, or chewing of the skin. You may notice your pet continuously scratching at their ears or biting at their paws. This can lead to inflamed or infected skin and hair loss.”

Similar to humans, pets may exhibit symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal discharge when exposed to allergens like pollen, dust, or other airborne allergens. Watery eyes occur due to the irritation of the mucus membranes in the eyes, triggered by histamine release, which can result in excessive tear production, redness and even discharge. Caolan advised that these symptoms can be particularly uncomfortable for our pets. “Sneezing occurs when an allergen is inhaled and the body is attempting to expel the irritant. Frequent sneezing is an indicator of a pet’s sensitivity to environmental allergens. Often referred to as a runny nose, nasal discharge occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed and produce excess mucus in an attempt to flush out the irritants.”

In addition to this, the vets told us allergies can also contribute to ear infections in pets. Ears can be especially difficult to manage, as the moist environment of the ear canal provides perfect conditions for bacteria or yeast to overgrow. An ear infection can be identified by redness, swelling, and a foul odour emanating from the ears.

While these symptoms are not life-threatening, they can significantly impact your pet’s quality of life. Constant itching, rubbing, and sneezing can lead to skin irritation, secondary infections, and general discomfort.

Kirstin and Caolan both urge pet owners to seek veterinary advice if their pet is struggling during the warmer months. While allergens cannot be cured, there are several ways to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms. On high pollen days, try to keep your pet indoors as much as possible, particularly during peak pollen hours. After taking your pet out, wipe down their paws and coat with a damp cloth to remove any allergens.

Kirstin advised, “Seeking guidance from your veterinarian is crucial if your pet is suffering from spring allergies that persist or worsen. They can perform an examination and diagnose the underlying cause of your pet’s symptoms, then provide appropriate treatment. There are many new treatments available which can be prescribed to help manage your pet’s allergies.”

Vets4Pets offer a range of options when it comes to pet allergies. Booking in with one of the registered veterinary nurses to discuss concerns could be extremely beneficial if you feel your pet is struggling. Our nurses can discuss options in relation to diet, supplements and even topical treatments. Keeping up to date with your pet’s parasite treatments is also extremely important, ensuring they are protected from fleas, ticks and worms. Having this protection against these nasty bugs can also help to prevent skin issues from occurring due to any ectoparasites.

Spring allergies can dampen the spirits of both pets and owners during the warmer months. By being able to identify the signs of allergies, and taking proactive measures to manage symptoms, you can help your pet to be more comfortable this spring. Remember, all the staff at Vets4Pets Ayrshire are here for you all year round and want to be your greatest ally in ensuring your pet is happy and healthy. Together, we can help our furry friends enjoy spring without the discomfort of allergies.