Apr 4, 2024 - News

Spring allergies stink for pets, too

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

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More pets in Washington, 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 cause secondary issues, including skin infections.

By the numbers: Pet insurance company Trupanion reports a 60% increase in allergy claims for insured pets in the Evergreen State from 2019 to 2023, with the data growth adjusted and measured per 1,000 pets.

  • And insurer Nationwide says allergies top the list of health conditions that prompt vet visits.
  • Dog allergy drugs Apoquel and Cytopoint have treated more than 20 million dogs in total since they were released in 2013 and 2018, respectively, according to parent company Zoetis.

What they're saying: It's hard to say whether allergies are indeed 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.

Anti-itch prescriptions are available to treat allergic dogs.

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.

The bottom line: If you suspect your pet has allergies, take them to the vet, Carlson says.

  • And if you or a human you know is suffering from seasonal allergies, you can check local pollen counts and types here.
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