Did you know that your dog or cat can suffer from seasonal allergies just like you can? The changes in weather during spring and summer months mean trees will be budding, flowers will be blooming and temperatures will be fluctuating, all of which can spread allergens that can irritate our four-legged friends. Below, a Cumberland County veterinarian shares some of the more common allergy issues to watch for in your animal family members.

Eye redness and itching

All the debris in the air can easily interfere with your pet’s natural eye health, causing everything from redness and discharge to itching and even pain. Watch for signs that allergies are bothering your pet’s eyes by checking their appearance regularly and noting any excessive pawing at the eyes or rubbing of the face against furniture, walls or other surfaces.

Ear discomfort

Allergens can get into your pet’s sensitive ears, causing itching, discharge and inflammation. When this happens, your pet could become more prone to ear infections. Keep an eye on your companion if you notice ear discharge, odor, redness, head shaking, excessive scratching or obvious pain when touched near the ears.

Sneezing and nasal discharge

Animals use their noses to explore their environment, so it’s no surprise that this is how many allergens find their way into your pet’s system. During allergy season, you may notice your pet sneezing more than usual and exhibiting excess nasal discharge or mucous that is thin and may even contain blood.

Coughing, excessive swallowing and/or gagging

Whether ingested directly through your pet’s mouth, or indirectly through the nasal passages, allergens that find their way into your companion’s throat can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms. Coughing, gagging and excessive swallowing are all signs that your pet may have ingested some respiratory allergens.

Skin allergies

Underneath all that fur, your pet’s body is covered with a layer of skin that can be just as sensitive as yours. Allergies, infections and other skin disorders can lead to excessive licking, biting, chewing and scratching which can leave your pet with hot spots, bald spots and scabs. Watch your pet closely for signs that he or she may be experiencing a skin problem.

The goal is to be aware of the unseen dangers that lurk in your pet’s external environment and to catch allergy problems early so they can be addressed before they become a bigger, more serious problem. If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the signs and symptoms listed above, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your Cumberland County veterinarian. He or she can get your loved one back on the path to a healthy, happy, and allergy-free life.