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How To Treat Mold Allergies In Dogs

Mold allergies are not just a human problem; our furry friends can suffer from them, too. If your dog has been sneezing more than usual, scratching incessantly, or showing signs of respiratory distress, mold might be the culprit. This blog post will discuss dog mold allergy symptoms and how immunotherapy can help treat mold allergies in dogs.

What are mold allergies in dogs?

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

In dogs, itchy skin is usually the first sign of irritation caused by inhaling mold spores. Inhalant allergies typically manifest in dogs under three, although allergies can develop in dogs of any age. Numerous breeds are thought to be sensitive to non-food allergens like pollen and grasses. If your pet shows allergy symptoms, schedule a veterinary visit to determine the cause and provide relief.

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

What are the symptoms of a mold allergy?

Identifying mold allergy symptoms in dogs is the first step toward effective treatment. Here are some common signs to watch for:

  • 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 conduct a blood test to help diagnose your dog's mold allergy. They will use equipment in the on-site lab to analyze the blood sample for antibodies to the mold allergen. Dogs with inhalant allergies may be sensitive to multiple particles, including dust, mites, and pollen. In such cases, a visit to a veterinary dermatologist may be necessary.

During a standard visit, a veterinary will review 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, including a thorough examination of the ears and skin all over the body. Additionally, blood tests, urinalysis, and skin scrapings may be performed 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 and antibiotics if he has infected skin sores.

Your veterinarian might recommend promptly removing the mold from your home to help treat your dog's symptoms and infections. Depending on the severity of your dog's symptoms, as well as your dog's size, age, and health, your veterinarian may also advise you not to take your dog home until the mold has been removed. Taking your dog home while the mold is still present could exacerbate symptoms rather than improve.

Immunotherapy for Mold Allergies in Dogs

Immunotherapy is one of the most effective long-term treatments for mold allergies in dogs. This involves exposing your dog to gradually increasing amounts of the allergen to build up their immunity. Here's how it works:

  • Customized allergy shots: Based on the results of allergy tests, your vet will create a customized vaccine containing small amounts of the mold allergens.
  • Regular injections: These injections are administered regularly over several months to years, depending on your dog's response.
  • Improved tolerance: Over time, your dog's immune system becomes less sensitive to mold, reducing the severity of allergic reactions.
Immunotherapy can be particularly beneficial for dogs with severe or chronic mold allergies that do not respond well to other treatments. It requires a commitment to regular vet visits and injections, but many dog owners find it worthwhile for the significant improvement in their dog's quality of life.

How do dogs recover from mold allergies?

It's important to remember that treating mold allergies in dogs is a key part of helping them recover. Following the treatments prescribed by the vet is essential. You can also help by using a dehumidifier to prevent mold, keeping mold-prone areas clean, using cleaning products that eliminate mold and spores, and ensuring that air conditioning ducts are regularly inspected.

When dogs go outside, they should wear washable booties and a sweater, and their fur and feet should be wiped down when they come back inside. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask the vet. They may want to recheck your pet's skin to ensure it recovers well.

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 Bellevue vets today to schedule an appointment.

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At Aerowood Animal Hospital, we are always accepting new patients. Our experienced veterinary team is passionate about the health of companion animals in the Bellevue area and can't wait to welcome you and your pet to our veterinary family.

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