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Dogs Get Spring Allergies Too!

Many people love to see the first signs of spring. However, for people with allergies, these signs mean they will have a hard time breathing. If you suffer from allergies each spring, it might surprise you to learn that you might not be alone if you own a dog. Our canine companions also can get seasonal allergies that may cause them some discomfort. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital has been helping to relieve those uncomfortable symptoms in the dogs of East Nashville since 2011. Now, we would like to tell you more about how you can tell if your dog has problems with allergies. Also, how we can help him to feel better.

What types of spring allergies can dogs have?

While the most common allergy found in dogs has to do with fleas, your dog can also be affected by environmental allergies, or “atopy.” This allergy issue causes itchy skin can be triggered in the spring by weeds, trees, and grass pollen. According to VetStreet, studies have shown that up to 10 percent of dogs will suffer from itchy skin and other symptoms throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

How do I know if my dog is suffering from spring allergies?

You may think you need to look out for your dog to be sneezing with watery eyes. On the contrary, seasonal allergy symptoms tend to be more along the lines of itchy skin. Have you noticed your dog scratching and licking himself? If so, he most likely is suffering from environmental allergies. Other symptoms include secondary ear and skin infections.

How can my dog be treated to relieve his spring allergies?

It is important to bring your dog into see us at 5 Points Animal Hospital whenever you see him scratching more than usual. We can properly diagnose exactly which allergy is causing the problem. This is key in finding the best treatment for that specific allergen. The most commonly used treatment method for atopy is desensitization, or allergy shots. You can trust our staff to comfortably and safely administer the initial series of shots. As the frequency of these shots starts tapering, we will teach you how to give your dog the shots at home. According to VetStreet, 60 percent of affected dogs respond well to this treatment. If your dog is in need of an alternative to that treatment, we do have other options, including antihistamines and stronger immune-modulators.

Have you been noticing your dog scratching more than usual? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for an allergy test to find out the best treatment for your dog!

May Is Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

While the allergy season for pets may be similar to the allergy season for people, the symptoms your pet experiences are quite different. People with allergies often sneeze, have a runny nose and itchy eyes. Pets, on the other hand, commonly manifest their allergy symptoms through their skin. Common areas affected by allergies include: face, ears, axillae (arm pits) and abdomen. Symptoms associated with allergies include itching, redness, and hair loss.

These same symptoms can also be caused by:

Dog & Cat Allergies

  1. External parasites: Fleas, mites (e.g.: scabies and Demodex) and lice
  2. Ringworm (more common with cats)
  3. Bacterial and yeast infections: while commonly associated with any cause of itching, these infections intensify the degree of itchiness

Common types of allergies your pet may be experiencing:

  1. Fleas: Fleas are the most common cause of allergies. Flea control is imperative for all pets, but particularly in allergic pets

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  1. Food: Common culprits: beef, chicken, pork, dairy, fish (cats), corn, wheat and soy.
  2. Atopy1: Atopy describes a heritable disorder caused by an over-reactive immune system responding to normal, nontoxic substances (e.g.: pollens) in your pet’s environment. Some breeds are predisposed: Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Dalmatians, Bull Dogs. Dogs with allergies should not be bred to prevent transmission of this frustrating disease. Testing for your pet’s specific allergies helps tailor a specific program for your pet and offers the best results. Options for testing include:
    • Blood allergy testing
    • Intradermal skin testing: most specific test for your pet’s allergies.

While there is no cure for allergies, your pet’s symptoms can be relieved with a combination of therapies to treat for infections, parasites and itching.
Patients that undergo allergy testing will begin “allergy shots” to help control symptoms. The goal of any allergy therapy is to control the itching and limit skin and ear infections. Your veterinarian will discuss with you the best strategy to offer relief for your pet’s allergies. Your friends at, 5 points Animal Hospital.

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5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now