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BENTLEY & FRIENDS: Seasonal allergies

Spring pollen has arrived early. How to spare your pet from suffering!

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — With the early onset of warm temperatures, seasonal allergies are now beginning to show up way ahead of usual! Not only do we suffer but our pets suffer right alongside us!

Usually, the symptoms in your pet are pretty easy to pick up on. Unusual behavior is the first sign at the first sight of spring blooms.

"They don’t sneeze as much, you know again, reverse sneezing can be unique to just an irritant not so much constant chronic allergies," said Dr. Denette Cooke of Cooke Veterinary in Chesapeake. "Itchy, scratchy skin, rubbing their face, chewing on their feet basically generalized itch is one thing that we would talk about."

Reverse sneezing? Yes, that's a thing!

“Usually it is self-limiting. We don’t need to do anything about it, I see it in the Spring and the Fall. Some animals are more prone to it than others,” Dr. Cooke explained.

Reverse sneezing tends to come on when a dog enters a new environment and is exposed to a new irritant. Dr. Cooke calls it almost a local reflex to protect their airway.

How do we help relieve the suffering of seasonal allergies?

“Veterinarians have got great meds today to help with that, from injections -- which I think are awesome -- my clients really love those and some pill forms to help stop that itch without it being steroids,” Dr. Cooke said.

Here’s a surprise: it’s not just pollen and mold that can cause allergic reactions in your pet. Flea bites can too!

“Make sure you keep your pet up-to-date on flea control because a lot of dogs are flea sensitive and flea allergic, and most commonly you will never see a flea on a flea-allergic dog. The opposite of what you would think. It only takes one to bite your dog and leave proteins behind, the flea moves on, the dog reacts up to two weeks later,” Dr. Cooke advised.

Allergy season is always occurring to some extent for our pets, so stay observant and up-to-date to ensure your pet stays comfortable and healthy this season.

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