An allergic response develops when the immune system “overreacts” to foreign materials (called allergens) such as pollens, molds, food proteins, and flea saliva.
Do pets get hay fever?
Hay fever is a type of seasonal allergy caused by inhaling allergens such as pollens and molds. Pets are often allergic to these same allergens, but signs of illness usually show up as skin irritation and itching, rather than runny eyes and nose.
When do allergies usually start?
Many pets begin to show signs when they are as young as 6-7 months, and almost all allergic pets develop problems by 3-5 years of age. Inhaled allergies usually begin as seasonal itching during spring or summer, but eventually may become a year-round problem.
How is allergy treated?
Antihistamines and corticosteroids are often used to combat itching and inflammation. Longer-term treatment involves eliminating the offending allergens via things like flea control or hypoallergenic diet. If the allergen cannot be eliminated, your veterinarian may recommend a series of shots meant to gradually desensitize your pet to the offending allergen(s).