Possible causes of spring allergies

With spring upon us, we are bound to start noticing allergies in our pets. It is important to note that animals can develop allergies at any stage of life; therefore, even if your pet has never had an allergy problem in the past, he could still develop one. There are a number of common allergies that we encounter in cats and dogs.

Insects and spiders

Acute allergic reactions to insect and spider bites can lead to rapid facial swelling, wheals (also known as urticaria) developing over the entire body, and potentially more severe symptoms, such as shock, collapse and difficulty breathing.

These allergies are most commonly encountered in puppies, as they often investigate and play with bees when out in the garden. The severity of these allergic reactions can vary from mild reactions that resolve without treatment, to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. It is, therefore, advisable to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible if he shows any of these symptoms.

Fleas

As the weather starts warming up, we are also bound to see an increase in the number of fleas in the environment. Flea-bite allergies are extremely common in dogs and cats. The most common symptoms are severe itchiness, rashes and hair loss over the lower back and tail. The presence of fleas on your pet may confirm that this is the cause. However, not being able to find fleas on your pet does not necessarily rule them out.

Cats seldom scratch the way dogs do. They tend to over-groom themselves instead, and often remove the fleas, meaning that you won’t find them. For that reason, it is vital to keep all your pets up to date with tick and flea treatments. If a flea infestation has been identified, it is also vital to treat the environment to get rid of adult fleas, eggs and larvae, as up to 90% of fleas are found in the environment, and not on your pets. Should your pets be experiencing a flea problem, it is also important to deworm all the pets in your household, as fleas also carry tapeworm eggs.

To read the rest of this article, get the September 2022 edition of Animaltalk magazine at retail stores, or order a digital or printed copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

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