Living in Hawai’i has a lot of upsides. Among the benefits of living in a virtual paradise, avoiding seasonal allergies is not on the list. At Kaua’i North Shore Animal Clinic we diagnose and treat more than our fair share of fall allergies in pets. Learn what you need to know to help. 

The Problem With Allergies

Seasonal allergies are a big problem for many pets. Their bodies can react to any type of protein in the air or environment, which makes pollen, weeds, and grasses an issue. Indoor allergens such as dust can also be a problem.

Pets with allergies have an immune system that overreacts to these environmental allergens. For humans, allergies often cause respiratory signs. Fall allergies in pets, though, often manifests dermatologically. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Increased itching or scratching
  • Shaking of the head 
  • Biting or licking, especially the paws
  • Discoloration of the hair due to saliva staining
  • Bad odor
  • Hair loss
  • Sores or irritated skin

Fall Allergens in Hawaii

Many allergens are at their height during the fall season. Pets can be allergic to almost anything, or even multiple things. The most common fall allergens in Hawaii, though, include:

  • Weed like ragweed that pollinate in August and September
  • Molds that thrive in the moist air
  • Mango and avocado pollens
  • Flea bites (these are annoying for all, but some pets have an actual allergic reaction to saliva)
  • Dust indoors

Without pronounced seasons on the island, allergies for pets may be more consistent all year rather than flaring up dramatically during certain times of the year. 

Allergy Treatment for Pets

So what is a concerned pet owner to do? While we can’t eradicate all the mango flower pollen on the island, our team can definitely help.

Allergy treatment for pets usually focuses on managing the symptoms successfully. Mild allergy symptoms might respond to treatment at home. You can: 

  • Bathe your pet in a recommended hypoallergenic shampoo to remove environmental allergens and soothe the skin
  • Keep your house clean and as dust-free as possible
  • Use an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to support skin health
  • Use a recommended flea prevention regularly

Sometimes, though, allergies in pets need more than just home treatment. If your pet’s allergies are severe or not responding to your efforts, it may be time to contact us

Management of pet allergies is unique to each situation, and we must work to find the best plan for your pet. Other causes of itching such as infections, parasites, or endocrine problems can complicate fall allergies in pets.  

The doctor will likely prescribe a multi-modal approach to quell the itch. These treatments may include:

  • Oral medications: Such as Apoquel (a chewable medication for the control of allergic itch and inflammation in dogs) 
  • Injectable treatments: Such as Cytopoint, which works like your dog’s own immune system to target and neutralize one of the main proteins that send itch signals to your dog’s brain that triggers scratching, licking, and chewing. Cytopoint can begin working in as little as a day.
  • Medicated Shampoo: We carry various medicated shampoos, your pet’s doctor will choose one that will work best for their condition
  • Topical treatments: Sometimes a topical mousse or medicated wipe is prescribed to work in conjunction with other medications. 
  • Flea/Tick Prevention: Your pet’s veterinary team will go over the prevention you are currently administering to ensure it is the most effective in preventing flea bites. 

Some of our patients with more serious symptoms may even benefit from allergy testing and injections.

Fall pet allergies can be a miserable experience, even in Hawaii. With our help, though, we can find a way to keep your pet happy and comfortable, no matter the cause of their itching.