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Itchin' and a scratchin': Pesky summer pet allergies

June 15, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode

My sister always said I got under her skin. I was 12 years younger and I’m sure a lot like an itch that couldn’t be scratched.

Growing up I also had a toy poodle named Snowball. Actually, she belonged to my mother. She was supposed to be mine, but I guess similar personalities stick together. She was such a prissy little snot but very pretty for a poodle. She also had every ailment my hypochondriac sister seems to have. Actually that’s not fair either. Every female in my family seems to be a certifiable hypochondriac.

Snowball even had allergies. To everything. Including grass. I was always amazed that a dog could have allergies to grass. Isn’t that like a human having allergies to the toilet?

I did feel bad for her though when all she could seem to do to alleviate the discomfort was to scratch every reachable part of her round, little body.

She took medication for her allergies. Expensive medication. While it did ease some of her discomfort it caused others such as excessive thirst and a need to go potty. 

jesser back doorAccording to the ASPCA, 1 out of every 5 dogs nationwide suffers from some form of allergy. (click HERE to connect to a great article about pet allergies).

Dr. Jeanne Budgin, veterinary dermatologist at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, says skin disorders are among the most common reasons for visits to the vet. “Many skin disorders are a result of allergies,” says Dr. Budgin. “It’s extremely important for the comfort and health of your pet that you determine the source of the allergy and treat it appropriately.”

Following are some common causes of allergic reactions in pets:
- Flea allergies. Just one bite may cause itching for up to three weeks.
- Certain foods
- Molds, pollens and dust mites commonly found in homes
- Tree pollens
- Grasses. Oak and grass are the major pollens present in the environment right now.

As recommended by the ASPCA, if you suspect your pet is suffering from allergies, visit your vet immediately to discuss testing and possible treatments.

You can also check out their latest press release for more on the causes of allergies in pets.

(*Above: Jesse sitting on the edge of the back porch step enjoying the fresh air in her face and air conditioning on her back...)

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