Springtime suffering in Panhandle pets: Treating seasonal allergies for four-legged friends

Springtime suffering in Panhandle pets: Treating seasonal allergies for four-legged friends
Seasonal allergies in pets are pretty common, according to veterinarians (Source: KFDA)
Dr. Dai McWhorter and Brie (Source: KFDA)
Dr. Dai McWhorter and Brie (Source: KFDA)
Seasonal allergies in pets are pretty common, according to veterinarians (Source: KFDA)
Seasonal allergies in pets are pretty common, according to veterinarians (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Sneezing, coughing and itchy and watery eyes are frequent symptoms of seasonal allergies in humans.

With spring arriving in the Panhandle, your pets may also have allergies. Local veterinarians say those symptoms can look quite different.

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"If you notice that your dog is excessively licking themselves or scratching a lot, certainly to the point where their skin is red or irritated, or if their fur looks a little bit discolored," said Dr. Dai McWhorter with Animal Medical Center, "they're over-grooming and that can be a sign that there's allergies starting up."

Other symptoms can include frequent ear infections and excessive rear-end itching.

Plenty of things can cause your furry friends to show allergy symptoms, with everything from the common seasonal variety to less common factors from their home environment.

"More commonly, we see the animals are allergic to the weeds and the pollen and the grasses that we have around here. We have a lot of wind, a lot of dust," said McWhorter. "Dust mites, even just skin cells from other animals or they can actually be allergic to us."

The Ridgway family's pup, Brie, started showing allergy symptoms at an early age.

"Well she was only probably about a year old," said Elnita Ridgway, Brie's owner. "She started getting little bumps all over her and then she started scratching and that would spread them further."

After taking her to a vet, Brie was able to get treatment that has continued to help calm her allergies over the past few years.

"It helps her a lot. She's on it really continuously, but she still breaks out from time to time, so we'll have to come in and give her maybe something different," said Ridgway.

If your pet has allergies, there is a variety of options to help treat them, starting with a trip to your veterinarian.

"We can use over-the-counter antihistamines, they have anti-itch sprays and anti-itch shampoos that we can use on these guys," said McWhorter. "There's been some research into new prescription allergy medication."

With a little extra care and medicine, you can keep your allergy-stricken pet happy and healthy year round, no matter what season it is.

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