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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 Astoria vets offer information about the symptoms of a mold allergy in dogs, how it is diagnosed, and treatment options, including immunotherapy.

What are mold allergies?

Mold produces spores that can cause allergic reactions in humans and animals. Found both indoors and outdoors, 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 usually manifests as 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. Numerous can be sensitive to non-food allergens like pollen and grasses. If your pet exhibits 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 create 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 have sensitivities to multiple particles, including dust, mites, and pollen. This can necessitate a visit to a veterinary dermatologist.

During a standard visit, a vet will go over the dog's medical history, recent illnesses, prior incidents of skin irritation, recent travel history, and current diet. They will also perform a physical exam, which will include a close examination of the ears and skin all over the body. A blood test, urinalysis, and skin scraping can rule out other possible causes of a skin problem too.

How are mold allergies treated?

Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to treat your dog's symptoms. 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 is removed from the house. 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 get vaccinations from their vet or specialist. These shots happen 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 desensitizes your pet to the source of their allergy so that they can better cope with exposure. This happens 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 dogs. It's 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're curious about the benefits of cat and dog vaccinations for allergen desensitization, contact your vet. They can make an accurate diagnosis of what ails your dog 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 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 outside, and you should wipe their fur and feet down when they enter 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 Astoria vets today to schedule an appointment.

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At Steinway Court Veterinarian, we are always accepting new patients. Our vets are dedicated to keeping pets healthy and happy in our Astoria clinic. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

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