Itching for Summertime? Your Allergy-Affected Pets May Be.
For both dogs and cats, summertime is prime time when it comes to skin sensitivities flaring up. What’s up with that, you ask? Simply put, warmer weather brings higher humidity and an increase in environmental allergens. Put the two together and you get a greater likelihood of skin irritation in our cats and dogs.
As your pet’s veterinarian, we’re ready to identify what may be making them itch and why it all began. Know this: the longer a pet’s itching and irritation persists, additional concerns can and often do arise to accompany that annoyance and it’s not usually any fun for pets. For example, even a superficial skin irritation can quickly lead to a more dramatic skin infection known as a “hot spot.” Hot spots are generally raw and pretty severely irritated areas that can get bigger and made worse by chewing, licking and scratching. Naturally, fleas, insect bites or cuts and scratches can also create the perfect mix of flared up skin and discomfort.
However, it’s often times what lies beneath a pet’s skin that can be the cause of nagging skin issues. Food allergies, and just about anything else in a pet’s world, including small parasites and even internal concerns, like hormonal imbalances and immune system abnormalities, can be causes for itchy misery.
Here’s a short list of some of the most typical household and seasonal allergens:
- House Dust Mites
- Open Sores (Hot Spots)
- Plant Fibers
If your dog plans on taking a cool dip in any lakes, rivers or oceans or on getting wet at the local dog park this summer, please keep in mind that warmth and humidity, along with dampness, breed yeast and yeast forming on skin can easily equate to irritation or infection. Our best tip for protecting summer swimmers is to ensure you hose them off, then towel them dry as best as possible. Put special focus on their ears and on getting them as dry as possible. We’d even recommend a vet-approved, mild ear cleanser with a drying agent for extra protection. We can help determine which is best for your pet, just ask us.
Your Pet’s Skin Future Looks Bright
With prompt care, we find that the majority of itchy dogs and cats can get quick relief. Ahhhh! For others needing additional diagnosis, your West Chelsea veterinarians are here to help. We value your pet’s skin and coat health, as it’s of the utmost importance. After all, it’s their protection against injury and infection; it insulates and also stores critically valuable nutrients and moisture.
Here are a few of the most common symptoms your pet may display if allergies are a concern:
- Scratching at ears and undersides of body
- Face-rubbing, sneezing, a runny nose
- Watery eyes and licking at the paws
- Hair loss, scabs and flakiness
- Darker or blotchy areas on skin