Dr. Anna Schwister on Pet Allergies

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Fall is a busy time of year for many vets. Seasonal allergies affect about 20% of dogs and cats.

But don’t expect your allergic pet to be sneezing or rubbing their eyes. The signs a pet has allergies are different.

“Itching is the most common symptom,” Dr. Anna Schwister points out. “Many owners think it’s fleas, and that’s what they treat. When the problem doesn’t get better, that’s usually when they bring their pets to me.”

Here’s what Dr. Anna wants pet owners to watch out for:

  • Excessive scratching and itching
  • Hair loss
  • Licking their paws
  • Excessive grooming
  • Shaking their heads and scratching their ears

Left untreated, the symptoms can become serious including bacterial and fungal infections and even deafness.

The good news is there are a host of treatments for dogs and cats who have allergies like antihistamines, steroids, antibiotics and allergy shots. Allergy tests are also available.

What’s most important says Dr. Anna, is that “You get them in to the vet and you get them diagnosed. We all want our pets to be comfortable and happy.”