Pets have allergies, too

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What a ruff time to be outdoors. It's the sneezin-wheezin allergy season, and not just for you. Our pets have allergies, too.

Not only do pets have allergies, veterinarian Mike Fleming, of Cross Veterinary in Grand Blanc, MI, says our furry pals can be allergic to the same things that terrorize humans.

"Dust mites, ragweed, polllens, molds, certain grasses. We see cases every week."

Pets take a hit the same time of year that we humans do, too, "Fall is a little bit worse," Dr. Fleming says, "But spring and fall are the worst time of year for pet allergies."

Sniffles are a possible symptom, but pets usually respond to those allergens a little differently.

"Some dogs come in a little bit itchy, some dogs are bleeding all over themselves becasue they have itched themselves so raw," Dr. Fleming says, "It gets that bad."

Allergens that lead pets to excessively lick, chew and bite at thier skin can cause horrible sores, Fleming tells me, "Hot spots are a result of allergies usually. So if a dog is itching and causing hair loss and causing skin lesions, then you should take your dog to the vet."

The good news is, pets can have some of the same over the counter allergy medicines as humans; so relief is probably closer than you think.

Just keep in mind, Dr. Fleming says, dosing is much different for animals, "Generally people are shocked when I tell them how much Benedryl to give their dog, because they think, 'If I take that much, I'd be passed out on the couch for a week. So the doseage is a lot higher'"

Just make sure you check with a vet about the right dose for your pet.

If the situation is really bad, Fleming says, there are other options, "They've made a lot of strides in the last few years, as far as medications that we can use in dogs, more specifically, for long-term management of allergies, that are very safe long-term, too."

Another clue that your pet might have allergies is if they have chronic ear infections. You might want to get that checked out with your vet, too.

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