Spring Kicks Off Allergy
Season: Pesky Pollen

Image left:  Pollen is a vital component in the life cycle of plants but for allergic pets, it can be very bothersome.

     Pollen is the product of the male portion of the plant. For fertilization to occur, that pollen needs to find the stigma, or female portion of the plant.
     Flowers attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies by providing nectar which is a source of food for them. While feeding, the pollen sticks to the “pollinator’s” bodies as they go from flower to flower assisting in the fertilization process. Trees and grasses go though the same process, but their lack of showy flowers does not get the same attention as their flowery friends (an obvious exception in California would be citrus trees).
This is where nature has lent trees and grasses a helping hand; trees and grasses rely on the wind to carry its
pollen far and wide.
      Because most flower pollens are heavy and not substantially wind-borne, they do not get carried the great distances that pollen of trees and grasses do thus they are less likely to be allergic triggers.
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When a pet is tested positively to a particular tree or grass, it may not be found in your yard or even in your neighborhood but it can still affect you and your pet because of those great distances that these pollens can travel from its original source.
      Though your pet might be kept indoors, a person can easily transport pollen from outside to inside the home. In addition, even by having your pet avoid walking on grass or other pollen producing areas, the windborne pollen will be present in copious amounts on hard surfaces as well (streets, sidewalks, artificial grasses) which means that exposure is still taking place.
      Percutaneous absorption (through the skin) is the predominant route of exposure to various pollens that stimulate clinical signs in allergic individuals. Even limited exposure outside can create allergic reactions.
If your family veterinarian suspects an environmental allergy, Animal Dermatology Clinic can perform an Intradermal Skin Test to identify the pollens affecting your pet.   Allergen specific immunotherapy, also known  as allergy injections can be very helpful in  helping to manage your pets allergic  reactions and may be necessary as part of a lifelong management plan.

Miss Us?

      Derm Digest has been on hiatus for a couple of months. Going forward, it will be issued quaterly providing the latest and pertinent information of the season for you and your pet. Our Pet of the Month will still be selected for the webhome page, so please submit your pet’s photo on our website www.animaldermaotology.com

Long Winters May Bring
Severe Allergy Season

      For areas of the country that endured (or are still enduring) a harsh winter, there is a bit of good news/bad news. Good news is that we know this record-breaking winter is approaching its end to welcome Spring.
      The bad news is that trees and plants that have been waiting for warm weather to release their pollens. Pollen is released throughout the year, but the intense frigid winter had plants doing the same as people: staying closed up. Therefore, a more concentrated pollen saturation is set to fly this Spring to aggravate animals and people. Forecasters predict this season to one of the worst for allergy sufferers.
      More temperate climates like the Southwest trade off by allowing for a never-ending flea season.
As the weather warms up, watch your pet for reactions. Regular bathing reduces offending allergens on the coat. Unscented baby wipes used on the paws after a walk can also reduce pollen contact.
      For borderline allergic pets with symptoms, ask your veterinarian for guidelines of over-the-counter medications to control minor itching and scratching until the worse is over.

    Popular Pet Names
in 2013

     Website Rover.com has listed the top canine pet names for 2013. The site, which connects dog owners with pet sitters nationwide, analyzed its database of 200,000 registered members to come up with the name list, says CEO Aaron Easterly.
      Not surprising is that many on the list are “people names”. And why not? Pets’ status has climbed to full-fledge family member in many households.
Top Male Dog Names
1. Max
2. Buddy
3. Charlie
4. Jack
5. Cooper
6. Rocky
7. Toby
8. Bear
9. Jake
10. Teddy

Top Female Dog Names
1. Bella
2. Lucy
3. Daisy
4. Molly
5. Lola
6. Maggie
7. Sadie
8. Chloe
9. Sophie
10. Bailey

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