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How To Treat Mold Allergies In Dogs

Like people, dogs can also experience allergic reactions to substances in their environment. Today, our Deer Park vets offer information about the symptoms of mold allergies in dogs, how they are diagnosed and treatment options including immunotherapy using pet vaccinations.

What are mold allergies?

Mold produces spores that can cause allergic reactions in humans and animals. It can be found both indoors and outdoors, and it multiplies rapidly in damp, humid environments like basements. Mold also grows seasonally in piles of wet leaves and decaying plant material, and homeowners must work to keep mold from spreading in places like the shower and window ledges.

Itchy skin is usually the first sign of irritation in dogs who inhale mold spores. Inhalant allergies typically manifest themselves in dogs under the age of three, though allergies can develop in dogs of any age. There are numerous breeds thought to be sensitive to non-food allergens like pollen and grasses. If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of an allergy, schedule a veterinary visit to determine the cause and provide relief.

Mold is the most common inhalant allergen in dogs, but other airborne allergens such as pollen and dust mites can also cause problems.

What are the symptoms of a mold allergy?

The signs and symptoms of dog mold allergies differ from those of humans. They include:

  • Frequent scratching, licking, and/or biting themselves
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Labored breathing (your dog’s chest may seem to heave with each breath)
  • Watery eyes
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

If you notice any changes in your dog's behavior, appetite, or energy level, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

How are mold allergies diagnosed?

Your veterinarian may perform a blood test to help diagnose your dog's mold allergy. Your vet will run the blood sample using equipment in the on-site lab to look for antibodies to the mold allergen. Dogs with inhalant allergies may be sensitive to multiple particles, including dust, mites, and pollen. This can necessitate a visit to a veterinary dermatologist.

During a standard visit, a veterinary dermatologist will go over the dog's medical history, recent illnesses, prior incidents of skin irritation, recent travel history, current diet, and whether medication is required. They will also perform a physical exam, which will include a close examination of the ears and skin all over the body. Blood tests, urinalysis, and skin scrapings can be performed as well to rule out other possible causes of a skin problem.

How are mold allergies treated?

Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to treat your dog's symptoms and to make breathing. Your dog may also require ear drops if he has an ear infection, as well as antibiotics if he has infected skin sores.

Your veterinarian may advise you to have the mold removed from your home as soon as possible to help treat your dog's symptoms and any infections. Depending on the severity of your dog's symptoms, and your dog's size, age, and health, your veterinarian may also advise you not to take him home until the mold has been removed. The symptoms may not improve and may even worsen if you take your dog home with mold still in the house.

Immunotherapy for Mold Allergies in Dogs

With immunotherapy, your dog will be given pet vaccinations from their vet or specialist in Deer Park. These shots are given multiple times a week to help build up your dog's immunity to the allergen. We go into more detail about this below.

How Immunotherapy Can Help With Mold Allergies in Dogs

Allergen Immunotherapy is the process of desensitizing your pet to the source of their allergy so that they can better cope with exposure. This is done by gradually introducing them to trace amounts of their allergen over time so they can build up a tolerance and immunity to it. Some common allergies treated with allergen immunotherapy include tree pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen, house dust mites, molds, feathers and human dander.

Allergy desensitization is a safe and effective treatment for allergic cats and dogs. It is the only treatment proven to help prevent the progression of allergies as pets get older. Allergy immunotherapy also helps decrease the need for long-term medications, and decreases skin and ear infection development, leading to improved long-term patient quality of life.

If you are curious about the benefits of cat and dog vaccinations for allergen desensitization, contact your vet in Deer Park. They can make an accurate diagnosis of what ails your dog or cat and make a treatment plan to help improve their quality of life. For more complex cases, this may include a referral to a veterinary dermatologist or allergist.

How do dogs recover from mold allergies?

Mold allergy treatment and recovery go hand in hand. Adherence to veterinarian-prescribed therapies will benefit a dog with allergies. Some work on your behalf can include using a dehumidifier to prevent mold, cleaning mold-producing rooms, using cleaning products that remove mold and spores, and having air conditioning ducts checked regularly.

Dogs should also wear washable booties and a sweater when going outside, and their fur and feet should be wiped down when entering the house. If you have any questions, the veterinarian can help. They will likely want to re-check your pet's skin as well to make sure recovery is progressing smoothly.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of allergies to mold or any other substance? Contact our Deer Park vets today to schedule an appointment.

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