Animal Friends Blog
Each season brings with it a set of challenges, from hay fever at the peak of summer, to the slippery pavements in the darkness of winter. Autumn has some hazards, too, for both dogs and humans with some unexpected allergy culprits emerging once the season’s changed.
Here are some autumn allergies that you might see in your dog at this time of year.
Autumn can help create the perfect environment in our homes for mould to grow, thriving on the poor ventilation and increased humidity caused by having our windows closed and heating on over the colder months.
Why is mould bad for pets?
Mould releases tiny particles which we can’t see and can cause an allergic reaction in pets, and people too. Cats and dogs can also be exposed to mould and fungi while outside through the soggy decomposing piles of leaves on the floor.
Even if your pet isn’t allergic to mould, it can cause some adverse health problems for your kitty or pooch, so always lookout for any signs that your pet might be affected by mould.
Symptoms of mould inhalation in pets
- Rapid breathing or change in breathing
- Runny nose
- Coughing, wheezing and sneezing
Pets that experience an allergic reaction to mould might start scratching, chewing or licking excessively, exhibit some hair loss and even develop some painful sores. Shaking of the head and ears, and changes to their skin are other signs of a reaction to mould.
Another one of the seasonal allergies that appear in autumn is harvest mites. These pests live in long grass and can cause some skin challenges for our cats and dogs from late summer through to the start of winter. The only stage in their life cycle that attacks animals is the six-legged larva, which is active during the day.
How do mites affect cats and dogs?
When the larvae feed, they inject fluid into the animal’s skin which can cause a severe reaction in some cats and dogs, leading to dermatitis. Most pets will experience itchy, irritated or reddened skin which is likely to be around the base of the ears, the face, the neck or shoulders, on the abdomen, or where there is only a thin covering of hair.
Preventing harvest mites
There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of harvest mites hitching a ride on your cat or dog.
- Ask your vet about any preventative treatments.
- Change your walking routine to avoid the larvae’s active period.
- Avoid long grasses on your walk.
- Don’t stop moving when on your walks.
A plant, commonly seen in the US, is now growing in the British countryside propelled by the warmer autumns and winters we’ve experienced over the last few years. Ragweed is one of the prime suspects of a hayfever sufferer’s runny nose in autumn. So, while people think they’re safe from hayfever once summer is over, plants like ragweed are wreaking havoc for people and their pets across the UK.
Whilst mould, mites and ragweed can cause some issues throughout autumn, it’s important to remember that other non-seasonal allergens are always about too so keep on top of your pet’s preventative treatment for other pests.
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