Pets are just like us, especially when it comes to allergies. Our pets can be allergic to a variety of different pollens, trees, grasses, mold, mites, dust, and even other pets! And just like with human allergies, environmental allergies can be seasonal or year-round. 

Symptoms

Symptoms of allergies most commonly present as itchy skin and ears. Pets with allergies might scratch, lick, or bite the affected area. You might observe red and irritated skin, and in more advanced cases, signs of secondary skin infections such as hair loss, pustules, or scabs. Other common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.

Diagnosing Environmental Allergies

If your veterinarian suspects your pet has environmental allergies, they may recommend additional diagnostics to hone in on the exact cause. To diagnose, your veterinarian might take a blood sample or introduce a tiny amount of allergens with a shallow, intradermal injection. 

To prepare your pet for an intradermal injection, your vet will administer a mild sedative. Once your vet administers the microdose of allergen, they will monitor your pet’s skin for a reaction. 

Treatment

While there is no cure for allergies, there are many options for managing your pet’s symptoms. Common treatments include the following: 

  • Antihistamines
  • Apoquel
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cyclosporine
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cyto-point injections 
  • Medicated shampoos
  • Topical treatments

You, your pet, and your veterinarian can work together to figure out which treatment works best.