Allergies in the air, your pet could be suffering too

Allergies in the air, your pet could be suffering too

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Humans aren't the only ones suffering from allergies this spring season. Pets are, too. 

"She starts scratching much more than she ever used to and then she would just kind of stay with it and just keep getting worse," said dog owner, Dean Krull. 

Krull's dog, Tagen, has allergies.

"She's uncomfortable at night, she's uncomfortable during the day, she won't play," added Krull. "She doesn't want to do anything."

Tagen is not alone. Many cats and dogs are experiencing heightened allergies this spring. Dr. Brittany R Yates at VCA Animal Hospital in Palm Springs treats pets with allergies regularly. 

"With the trees, the grasses and our high winds in the desert moving everything around really encourages dogs to have allergy outbreaks," said Dr. Yates.

In many cases, the symptoms she sees are similar. Dogs and cats often visit her with ear infections, irritated paws and red watery eyes. All of these signs are similar to those seen in human allergy cases. However, while the symptoms may be similar, the treatment is not the same. 

"It's not like when you and I go to the pharmacy and just go pick one of the over the counter antihistamines," said Dr. Yates. 

Apoquel is a new drug out to treat pet allergies. It's affordable and safer for your pet than a steroid. But, it's on backorder and won't be available until mid 2015. Dr. Yates suggests visiting an animal dermatology clinic in order to get the drug sooner. 

In the meantime, she suggests taking these measures.

"Have that meeting with your veterinarian," suggests Dr. Yates. "Then I would say getting on a good shampoo that helps to maintain your pets natural skin coat -- get all the bacteria and yeast off that's causing their secondary problem. If they need an antihistamine or some kind of temporary steroid to help them get through that itch cycle."

Dr. Yates highly advises to take action immediately if you notice your pet expressing symptoms of allergies. 

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