Apr 8, 2024 - Climate

Spring's a ruff time for allergic pets in Illinois

Illustration of a tissue box with the opening in the shape of a dog bone

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More pets in Illinois, particularly dogs, are being treated for itchy skin and allergies.

Why it matters: Seasonal allergies can be terribly uncomfortable for furry friends, and they can snowball into secondary issues, including skin infections.

By the numbers: Pet insurance company Trupanion reports a 27% increase in allergy claims for insured pets in Illinois in 2023 compared with 2019, with the data adjusted and measured on a per-1,000-pet basis.

  • That's lower than the national average of 45%.

What they're saying: It's hard to say whether allergies are more prevalent or whether we're just "better at finding it and our pet owners better at seeking treatment," says American Veterinary Medical Association president Rena Carlson.

Between the lines: Skin problems in pets are "absolutely the No. 1 issue we see with allergies," Carlson tells Axios.

  • Allergies can also show up in the ear canal, which "is actually just an extension of the skin," she says.
  • And with environmental allergies, the itchiness can appear seasonally.
  • The itching could also be caused by a parasite-related skin problem or a food allergy.
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