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How To Treat Mold Allergies In Dogs

Did you know that dogs can experience allergies just like you or I? Here, our Killen vets discuss the effects and symptoms of mold allergies in dogs, how they are diagnosed and how immunotherapy can help to treat and manage the symptoms of this allergy.

What are mold allergies?

Mold produces spores that can cause allergic reactions in humans and animals. It can be found indoors and outdoors and rapidly multiplies 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 it 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 three, though 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 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.

Dog Mold Allergy: Symptoms

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, visit your veterinarian.

Diagnosing Mold Allergies in Dogs

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 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 close examination of the ears and skin all over the body. Blood tests, urinalysis, and skin scrapings can also be performed to rule out other possible causes of a skin problem.

Treatment Options for Dog Mold Allergies

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 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, as well as 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 or worsen if you take your dog home with mold still in the house.

Immunotherapy for Mold Allergies in Dogs

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

How Immunotherapy Can Help Manage 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 to build a tolerance and immunity to mold. Some common allergies treated with allergen immunotherapy include tree pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen, house dust mites, molds, feathers and human dander.

Immunotherapy also helps decrease the need for long-term medications and decreases the development of skin and ear infections, improving long-term patient quality of life.

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

Managing Mold Allergies Through Recovery

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, cleaning products that remove mold and spores, and regularly checking air conditioning ducts.

Dogs should wear washable booties and a sweater outside and wipe down their fur and feet when entering the house. If you have any questions, the veterinarian can help. They will likely want to re-check your pet's skin to ensure 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 Killen vets today to schedule an appointment.

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Center Star Veterinary Services offers walk-in veterinary services. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Killen companion animals. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.

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