After this very intense winter, we all really need a break. April showers are supposed to be bringing May flowers, however, in the Northeast, it’s still abnormally frosty. Spring has sprung here in Florida, and in various other areas and will inevitably arrive for all of us sometime soon. So that should be great news, wouldn’t you agree? It is, unless you suffer from seasonal allergies. If that’s you, you may be looking forward to sneezing, watery, itchy eyes, and more. Like many of us, you may be wondering – is it coronavirus or allergies? Additionally, your beloved four-legged companion may suffer from seasonal allergies too.
Coronavirus or allergies? Simple clues.
After all, not every person is in radiant health every single day. Sales of over the counter medications prove that! Goodness knows, humans cough, sneeze and can be tired from time to time. How do we know we’re not about to spread COVID-19 to those we love?
Most common symptoms:
Coronavirus according to the WHO
- Fever / chills
- Dry cough
- Body soreness, pains
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, throat and/or ears
- Puffy, watery eyes
The Big Differences – Coronavirus or Allergies!
Coronavirus generally causes a fever: allergies do not!
Allergies very often manifest with some level of itchiness; Coronavirus does not itch!
Allergies often deliver bouts of uncontrollable sneezing; Coronavirus shows less constant sneezing.
It can be helpful to check your town’s pollen count. If it has increased, and you remember similar symptoms last year, it’s fairly safe to assume that you’re allergic! (who ever thought we would be happy to come to that conclusion?!)
Have you taken allergy medication in the past? This year, experts are suggesting that as soon as seasonal blooms begin, you start the medication you’ve used previously, prior to distress. If you miss your opportunity for pre-season protection and symptoms manifest, no worries. When you gain relief from taking your medication, you’ll know it’s not Coronavirus. COVID-19 is not affected at all by allergy medication.
Due to the intensely infectious nature of COVID-19, even if you’re quite certain that you’re experiencing allergic symptoms, you are still requested to stay home from work, at least for a few days. Of course, if you are in an area where testing is convenient, that would certainly be advised, for everyone’s peace of mind. The CDC offers a Self-Checker to help you make decisions about appropriate medical care for coronavirus.
Can my dog become infected with coronavirus?
There are only very few cases globally where companion animals have been diagnosed with the COVID virus. They were in situations where the pets were in close, constant contact with humans positive with the virus. An infected animal would exhibit similar symptoms to a human. Notably, they would have fever, malaise, cough.
Seasonal allergies – very common in dogs.
However, sadly, seasonal allergies in dogs are not uncommon at all. In humans, as we mentioned, allergy symptoms are often associated with sneezing, itchy membranes, perhaps red eyes. However, if your dog has developed an “allergy”, his misery will most commonly be skin-related.
Most common symptoms of allergy that you may notice in your dog:
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Increased scratching
- Chewing on paws / swollen paws
- Red, moist or scabbed skin from scratching
- Irritated, runny eyes
- Itchy back or base of the tail (commonly a flea allergy)
- Secondary bacterial or yeast infections – may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin
Actually, allergies may develop in response to anything in your pet’s environment. In addition to seasonal pollen, dietary changes, pesticides, new carpet, even new bedding or toys could cause an allergic response. It’s important to determine the cause so you can be as proactive as possible and provide information to your vet and ease to your companion. Allergy symptoms are similar no matter the origin, so a bit of detective work may be needed.
Allergies and the flu are both issues with immunity. As I mentioned many times, one of the safest and effective ways to support your body’s appropriate immune response is through regularly including probiotics into your daily regimen. Yes, probiotics for both you and your dog and/or cat. Everyone needs an immune system these days that is balanced, which is exactly what probiotics help to provide.
Maybe we should make masks that say “It’s just allergies!” Musing further, maybe wearing masks will decrease your pollen exposure. Masks for dogs – haha? Always searching for the “silver lining”…
Be well, and stay safe.