season-ragweedAccording to an article by Dr. Lauren Charous of Milwaukee, the upper Midwest region of the North American continent is the largest pollen belt in the world–a fact that won’t surprise anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies or who owns a pet who suffers from seasonal allergies.

While studies show that somewhere between 20 and 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, I cannot find a study that counts the number of pets that suffer from the same allergies. Just like people, animals can be allergic to ragweed, grasses, trees and flowers.

Here at the OVC we see multiple cases of allergies, in cats and dogs, every day in the late summer and fall.

Signs of allergies include scratching, chewing at their paws or legs, scooting on their bottoms, scabby skin, licking hair off of areas, rubbing their face on the ground and other signs that they are just generally itchy.

So what can be done to help your pets? Pet allergies can be specifically identified through Heska allergy testing, which is a blood test. Owners can treat the symptoms with medications including cortico steroids, immuno-suppressive medication or antihistamines, or target the specific allergies with allergy shots (also called immunotherapy or hyposensitization).