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Seasonal Allergies in Pets

Spring has sprung! The flowers are blooming -- and eyes are watering and noses are running.

Welcome to allergy season, which is not just hard on people but can affect our pets, too. In the WebMD Pet Health Community, M. Duffy Jones, DVM, reveals that dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies and symptoms, right along with their owners.

Seasonal allergy symptoms in pets are somewhat similar to allergy symptoms in humans, Jones says. Dogs and cats both can get ear infections and runny eyes. And although dogs often scratch under their armpits and on their sides, cats tend to lick and rub their stomachs and faces.

If you see these behaviors and symptoms at the same time every year, chances are your pet may have seasonal allergies. But be sure to check with your vet to get a diagnosis.

If your pet does have seasonal allergies, you can treat his allergies much the same way you would treat yourself: by trying to control them ahead of time before they get out of hand. Jones says that if you start giving your pet her allergy medication early in the year, before her symptoms start, you can often see results with lower doses and drugs that have fewer side effects.

One Community member describes her Yorkie’s experience with seasonal and food allergies, requiring a restricted diet and steroid medications. Jones says that he sees many pets that have to be treated with steroids once or twice a year to hold back allergy-related scratching fits.

Have your pets ever exhibited symptoms of seasonal allergies? What did you do to calm their symptoms -- and your nerves? Share your successes with the Community.

Discussion led by M. Duffy Jones, DVM Guest Expert
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Dr. Jones is an Atlanta-based veterinarian who founded the Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital of Atlanta in 2005…More

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