It’s the first day of spring in Colorado, and forecasters say we are in for not only an early and severe allergy season, but veterinarians say it’s going to affect pets as much as people. VRCC has an extensive team of board-certified veterinary dermatologists, who provide a variety of services involving all diseases of the skin, coat, ears and nails.

Linda Messinger, DVM, Diplomate ACVD and head of VRCC’s dermatology and allergy practice, says with our recent weather patterns and high winds, trees are pollenating early this year. Dr. Messinger names the top three symptoms you may see if your pet is having an allergic reaction:

  1. Ear infections in dogs.  Ear infections may keep getting treated over and over again, but if you notice your dog’s ear infections are recurrent, be sure to see a veterinary dermatologist to find out the underlying issue – it may be due to allergies. INTERESTING FACT: ear infections that start from the inner ear and work their way to the outer ear tend to be from food intolerance or allergies, whereas ear infections that start from the outer ear and move to the inner are most likely from environmental factors.
  2. Recurrent skin infections. Skin may appear red, blotchy or irritated.
  3. Paw licking.  Sometimes it seems that your dog may just be cleaning themselves when liking their paws, and often this is true.  However, if you notice your pet incessantly and chronically liking their paws, this may be a sign of underlying allergies.

Here is some advice from our Dermatology & Allergy team at VRCC about what you can do to help alleviate your pet’s allergy symptoms:

  • Hypoallergenic baby wipes or a plain washcloth with water (no soap). The goal is to get the allergens off the top layer of the skin and/or fur.
  • has a great resource called the “Allergy Misery Scale” that you can check daily.  They will provide the top 3 allergens pollinating that day in your specific area, which may also be affecting your pet.
  • If you are having difficulties controlling your pet’s allergies, consider visiting our veterinary dermatologist.  They can use a variety of treatments, and also use intradermal allergy testing to pinpoint what allergens may be affecting your pet.

You can watch a newscast about one of our patients who is now doing very well after successful allergy treatments with our veterinary dermatology department!