Pets suffer from pollen allergies - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pets suffer from pollen allergies

The warm winter sent pollen counts soaring to record levels all over Georgia. Doctors have never seen pollen levels this high, this early in the year.

That thick coat of yellow pollen may be setting off your allergies, but it can also be affecting your pets. 

Your pet can suffer from seasonal allergies just like you and me. And for pets, the problem is often the same stuff that bothers us.

The trees are green and flowers are in bloom. For most people it's a beautiful sight meaning the start of Spring, but for some, the colorful blooms mean sneezing and itching.

And it is not different for your pet.

"Common things we see are upper respiratory issues, runny eyes, conjunctivitis in the eyes, dogs and cats sneezing from it and then it can actually be related to some skin issues," says Dr. Charlie Deriso, Veterinarian.

The intense, early Spring weather has sent pets to the vet earlier this year than normal for pollen allergy related symptoms.

"It is happening earlier in the year this year, obviously things are blooming sooner than they were in the past and it will continue into the summer for a lot of animals," says Deriso.

And it seems they suffer with those same symptoms the same way we do.

"A lot of them, they will run low grade fevers with it, or if they are sneezing, they just don't feel good, they will lay around more, you will see them pawing at their face when their eyes are dry and they are getting conjunctivitis, and it is just bothering them and when they are sneezing a bunch and kind of a hacking type cough," says Deriso.

But it all comes down to catching it early and getting your pet help.

"They can get to the point where they are having sinus infections or if their eyes are itching them and they are pawing at them, they can scratch their eye and get a corneal ulcer on their eye, it can become far more serious," says Deriso.

So this allergy season, which is shaping up to be one of the worst in years, take care of yourself and your four-legged friends.

And just like for people, there are medications that can help your pets. For some there are over the counter medicines that are inexpensive. But if it gets worse and untreated, it could get pricey.

Your pet can also set off your allergies by bringing pollen inside the house on their coats. So doctors suggest you try to keep your pet and yourself inside as much as possible.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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