Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

Winter Season Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Coughing / Itching / Licking / Sneezing

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Rated as moderate conditon

6 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Coughing / Itching / Licking / Sneezing

Winter Season Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Winter Season Allergies?

Winter season allergies can affect dog’s skin, coat, and his breathing. These allergens that occur in the wintertime are usually airborne, which causes the symptoms of sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. Within the home, dust mites and mold, even in very small quantities, are the triggers for these particular symptoms.  With winter allergies, a dog skin and coat are also affected since the dog is indoors more often and is having more contact with items within the home. 

It is always a good decision to keep your dog warm in the winter time, and many dog owners choose to keep their dog indoors, except for taking quick walks and going to the bathroom. However, being inside the home may expose the dog to drier air and a build-up of mold and other allergens within heating systems and humidifiers.

Many dog owners that witness their loved ones suffer from airborne allergies in the winter months find that regular cleaning of the filter in the furnace, keeping the humidity under 40% within the home, and making sure the humidifier is cleaned on a regular basis make a big difference. They also find that regular vacuuming of the home keeps the dust mites at bay.

Winter season allergies in dogs are a result of allergens within the dog’s environment, which is usually within the home. Winter season allergies are very treatable under a veterinarian’s care.

Winter Season Allergies Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

Winter season allergies have similar symptoms to other seasonal allergies. The symptoms begin when the cold weather begins, and may include: 

  • Coughing
  • Dark under-eye pigmentation
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes with a discharge, usually clear
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, irritated skin that may be red in color
  • Excessive scratching and licking of skin and feet

Types

Winter season allergies in dogs are usually caused by the environment of the indoors, as many dogs are inside more often during the winter months. Types of allergens dogs may be affected by include:

  • Dust mites
  • Dry air with low humidity
  • Mold
  • Contact allergies, such as with carpeting
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Causes of Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

Winter season allergies in dogs are caused by environmental triggers that commonly occur in the winter months. Specific causes of cold weather allergies include:

  • An overactive immune system 
  • The immune system fighting a particular allergen, thus causing a reaction
  • Specific allergens that are related to cold-weather
  • Specific allergens within the home during the winter months
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Diagnosis of Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

If you see any of the above symptoms in your dog during the season of winter, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will assess his symptoms and discuss with you the subject of winter allergies and what can cause them. The veterinarian will look for dandruff within your dog’s fur, take a very close look at his coat, and also check to see how much your dog is shedding. Looking closely at these symptoms may determine if your veterinarian feels that your dog has an underlying health condition. Your veterinarian may also take a skin test just to be sure his irritated skin is not related to another ailment.

Your medical professional will also ask questions pertaining to his symptoms, when they began, the severity of them, how long they last, and any other questions that will help him make a definitive diagnosis. He will then do a physical evaluation of your loved one, which will include looking in his ears for any signs of infection, and perform any tests which he feels are necessary. More than likely, your veterinarian will be able to determine that your dog is suffering from winter allergies. Fortunately, winter allergies in dogs are quite treatable for the few months out of the year that have an effect on him.

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Treatment of Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

The medical professional will offer several means of treatment for your companion. With winter allergies, they are seasonal, so any treatment the dog is given will be for a few months out of the year. Treatment options may include:

Shampoo

Your veterinarian may suggest a calming shampoo for your dog. Regular bathing with shampoo specialized for skin allergies may help your dog find relief from winter allergies. He may also suggest that you avoid bathing the dog too often, so the skin does not dry out; however, he may be able to recommend a moisturizing, hypoallergenic cleanser.

Medications

There are medications on the market that can help your dog with his winter allergies. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, and topical creams on a prescription level are formulated to work against the allergens that affect your dog. These medications are typically for temporary use; they are commonly used just a few months out of the year.

Desensitization Therapy

Desensitization therapy may be an option for winter allergies if your dog has a great deal of discomfort. Immunosuppressants or allergy shots may help the dog build up immunity to the offending agent. These medications work by injecting a very small amount of the allergen into the dog, thus allowing the dog’s system to become more familiar with whatever allergen that bothers him.

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Recovery of Winter Season Allergies in Dogs

With winter season allergies, your dog should be able to effectively recover with the help of your veterinarian. Once you apply a regimen of treatment to your companion, he will begin to feel better. This may take some time; however, to adjust the actual medications and possibly the lifestyle of your dog in terms of trying to rid some of the allergens from his environment.

Once you are more familiar with allergies, you will be more aware of what to look for in terms of symptoms. If your dog develops any new symptoms, simply consult with your veterinarian to see what else can be done in terms of treatment. Fortunately, winter allergies in dogs only last for a few months, and once the springtime comes around many of the cold weather allergens will dissipate.

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Winter Season Allergies Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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Winter Season Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Rylee

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Golden Doodle

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Very Itchy,
Itchy, Runny Nose, Paw Licking

My dog is constantly itchy. I’ve taken her to the vet and she gave me medicated shampoo to put on her 3 times a week for ten minutes. She also said to give her Claritin, Benadryl or Zyrtec. I’ve given her Benadryl and Claritin and neither of them have helped.. i don’t know what else to do. Her itchy ness is worse in the winter. Would a humidifier or purifier help her? Any advice?

Dec. 1, 2017

Rylee's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

If the cause of the allergy is an environmental allergen, then an air purifier may help but as soon as she goes outside she will be subjected to the allergen; the most important step would be to try and identify the allergen through allergy testing with your Veterinarian. Speak with your Veterinarian about products like Temaril-P which may help reduce the itching, link to product below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.zoetisus.com/products/dogs/temaril-p.aspx

Dec. 1, 2017

Winter Season Allergies Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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