Allergies can strike at any time, but end of summer and fall allergies are very common. This is known as seasonal atopy. In humans, allergies frequently affect the respiratory system but in dogs and cats, skin problems are most common. Signs can include itching, foot licking, hair loss, rashes or skin redness, and skin infections; also ear infections, anal gland problems, and/or eye irritation or infections. Problems occur when the immune system overreacts to an environmental substance (e.g. pollen, mold, etc.). Exposure happens when pets breathe in the triggering allergen and in dogs and cats, absorption through the skin is also significant. Therefore, frequent bathing can help limit exposure and there are medicated shampoos and conditioners which may provide additional relief. Fish oil supplements can be beneficial, and further medical therapy may also be advised. Depending on the severity of your pet's allergy, this may include topical treatments, systemic therapy (injections or oral medications), or a combination of both. For severe cases, allergy testing and allergy injections can also provide long-term benefits. If you think your pet has allergies, please call to schedule an appointment. We want to help your pet stay comfortable - even in allergy season!