While the warmer temperatures and sunshine are very much welcome here in the Queen City, spring can unfortunately also bring with it some other seasonal 'gifts' that can cause some changes in the health of our pets. We are all itching to get outside when the sun comes out and to start enjoying walking on the sidewalks and park paths that are no longer slippery and ice-covered! However, if you have been walking lately through the neighborhoods of Regina, you may have noticed the presence of some white/grey spiderweb-like material on the grass- this is snow mold! In addition, as the snow recedes it also uncovers a lot of leaf/garden litter left behind from the previous fall. There is also the thick layer of dust from melted snow, windy days, and winter street sanding...then out comes Fido, who is just as excited as you are to finally see the grass again and on that beautiful spring day the first thing he wants to do is.... roll in all of it!
By the time you are back from your walk or backyard play session, you may notice that Fido now is sneezing more than he used to, maybe his eyes are a bit red and watery, and maybe his previous skin allergies or respiratory condition that were so well controlled are suddenly NOT again....ahhhh spring! This is a season where our veterinarians will often see flare-ups of allergies, respiratory conditions or other environmental irritants in our patients. If your pet has a known seasonal environmental allergy, be sure to discuss a proactive spring treatment plan with one of our veterinarians to be prepared in advance and to avoid development of severe symptoms. Raking leaf litter and snow mold off of the lawn and giving it a rinse down with a water hose can also help to remove excess dust, allergens and floating particles in your yard. Bathing your pet after they have been rolling or playing in the grass can also be helpful to remove allergens from their fur; ask our team for a recommended shampoo!
Although spring is commonly associated with such allergens, if your pet is coughing, sneezing or has developed 'red' eyes, examination by one of our veterinarians is always advised to rule out many other potential causes and to ensure appropriate therapy.