Are you a dog lover? Poodles, The Schnauzer, The Kerry Blue Terrier, Powder puff Chinese Crested, The Havanese, Coton de Tulear, Maltese, Labradoodle, Bishon Frise, Greyhound, Maltese, Giant Schoodle, Puppies

Protecting pets from effects of seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies can certainly make people feel miserable this time of year, but our four-legged friends may be suffering from allergies as well.

When Sandy Laurel became a dog mom to her now 11-year-old Maltese, Buster, she thought pet ownership would be pretty simple. But a few years ago, Buster started scratching himself to the point that Laurel says he would get skin infections.

"It started with all of this scratching, itching and then he would get like little sore spots... it was more seasonal but it just continued," Laurel said, and as Buster got older, the allergies got worse. Laurel brought him in to see Dr. Jae Chang, a veterinarian who treats cats and dogs with seasonal allergies.

"There could be a whole slew of things. There could be different types of grasses, different types tree pollen, even dust mites," Dr. Chang said.

Signs your pet may have seasonal allergies include skin conditions, skin infections, and recurring ear infections. Allergy testing through blood work is the only way to know what's causing the problems.

Dr. Chang says once veterinarians can determine exactly what your pet is allergic to, they can compound those things in an oral solution, and your pet can acclimate to the allergens. That helped with Buster, whose allergen report came back with some unavoidable triggers.

"He's allergic to common things, fleas, grass, trees, certain pollen. It was just stuff that couldn't be avoided for the area, so we did what we could as far as allergy drops," Laurel said.

If you're looking for a local veterinary allergy specialist, visit Animal Allergy & Dermatology of Colorado's website.