Springtime is on the way and along with it comes seasonal allergies and parasites. Renton Veterinary Hospital is here to help!

Seasonal allergies in the dog and cat are very different from humans. Dogs and cats show signs of allergy on their skin. They can seem itchy and develop infections of the skin and ears.

  • We may recommend antihistamines as the first line of defense for mild seasonal allergies
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines that contain decongestants can be toxic to dogs so be sure to follow our recommendations closely.
  • We may also prescribe different medications to help control your pet’s season allergies and itchiness.

Many seasonal skin problems in dogs and cats are the result of exposure to fleas and ticks. It is ideal to bring them to be assessed what is the best path forward in treating these symptoms.


  • Flea and tick preventives promote long-term health and wellness of your pet. When you give your pet flea and tick preventive medication, you are offering inside and outside protection because fleas and ticks carry bacteria and parasites that can cause serious, and even fatal disease, in domestic animals.
  • You also protect your family as flea and tick bites can transmit disease to humans too!
  • Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, cat scratch fever, and tapeworms can all be transmitted to humans from ticks and fleas.
  • Dog and cat flea and tick preventives aren’t all created equally. Many medications that are labeled for dogs contain a synthetic compound called permethrin, which is safe for dogs but toxic to cats. If a product containing permethrin is mistakenly applied to a cat or ingested by a cat, it can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
  • Call us or schedule an appointment to learn about ways to keep your pets safe from fleas, ticks, and toxic compounds.
  • We will help choose a preventive product that is best for your pet’s individual needs.
  • Visit Preventing ticks on your pets for more information from CDC.


The common cat flea infects both dogs and cats – Ctenocephalides felis. In addition to skin irritation, fleas can also cause anemia and, in certain situations, death – especially when young animals experience large infestations. Adding insult to irritation, fleas can spread multiple pathogens such as tapeworms, cat scratch fever bacteria, and other bacterial diseases that can infect both people and pets.

If You Find a Tick on Your Pet

  • Wear rubber gloves! Ticks can transmit diseases to humans too.
  • Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin using a slow, steady, rearward pressure to release the tick from the skin.
  • Dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. Or you may keep the tick in a sealed container and bring them in to identify or to send out for further testing.
  • Clean the skin with soap and water after removing the tick.

Things to Avoid

  • Don’t try burning the tick with a lit match or other heat sources. This will hurt your pet and potentially spread infections into the air.
  • Don’t try suffocating or irritating the tick with fingernail polish or petroleum jelly.
  • Don’t crush or twist the tick. That’s a fast way to expose your pet to more pathogens and cause the mouthparts to break off.

If you think your pet has allergies, contact Renton Veterinary Hospital today at 425-255-8676. Renton Veterinary Hospital serves pets in the Renton, Seattle, Tukwila, and Kent. We can diagnose allergies and help your pet find a treatment that provides relief.

Picture source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention