Dogs suffer from seasonal allergies too - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Dogs suffer from seasonal allergies too


Eau Claire (WQOW) - This time of year is tough for those of you who suffer from allergies; you can feel it in your eyes and your nose. But, humans aren't the only ones who suffer this time of year.

They're symptoms many of us can relate to, watery eyes, and itchy paws…While that might not be a human symptom of fall allergies, it is a feature of the four legged kind. 

Julia Gawley, a veterinarian for the Westgate Animal Hospital in Eau Claire, says, "It's basically the same thing that humans experience, dogs experience, only instead of their respiratory tract, eyes and nose being runny... Dogs skin will itch."

Gawley says, "The more they scratch, they create some micro abrasions on the skin. The bacteria and the yeast start kicking in and a lot of dogs are allergic to those so it just becomes a vicious cycle and it can be quite miserable this time of year. A lot of owners will tell me their dog has kept them up all night itching. The skin will start to look red and rashy."

Droves of dogs have been traveling to the Westgate Animal Hospital. "Probably a third of my appointments right now are allergy related," explains Gawley.

Greg Fisher brought his Corgi, Colby in for seasonal allergies on Thursday. He says, "The first year we didn't know what was going on, we just knew he was scratching a lot and so we kind of got scared, brought him in and they described how allergies work which is basically the same as humans.  They gave him an allergy shot and he was good to go."

Depending on the severity of your dog's symptoms, there are a number of routes to relief your vet can take.

Gawley says, "Since it is so predictable when the allergens are going to start bothering your pet... For instance if they start in August year after year, I'll tell people to start their pet on a antihistamine and fish oil combination. Treatment can involve anything from antibiotics if there's a secondary bacterial infection which is very common. Sometimes we'll go with steroids, indictable steroids to take the inflammation down in the skin and really get ahead of that allergic process."

Whether you walk on two legs or four, we hope you find some relief this allergy season.

Veterinarians say before you start any treatment, consult them first. 

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