Grass Pollen Allergy in Dogs

Written by jennifer gittins
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Grass Pollen Allergy in Dogs
Dogs, too, suffer from grass allergies (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Frédéric DUPONT)

As with people, dogs, too, can suffer from allergies. Allergies can be frustrating for both the dog and the owner. Fortunately, once the offending allergen has been identified, the allergies can be controlled and treated.

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Misconceptions

Many people would assume that since grass pollen is an inhaled allergen the symptoms would be similar to those of a person. However, dogs do not suffer from runny noses or sneezing but rather deal with skin-related reactions.

Symptoms

Symptoms of canine allergies include ear infections, mutilated skin and hair loss, as well certain behaviours exhibited by your dog such as scratching, rubbing its face on the carpet or on furniture and chewing on its feet.

Diagnosis

To determine that grass pollen is the offending allergen, the dog will need to undergo several tests, including a physical exam, blood tests and intradermal testing. Intradermal testing involves injecting various potential allergens into the skin to determine the offending allergen.

Treatment

Dogs who are allergic to grass pollen may receive topical shampoos and sprays that help provide temporary relief for itching, along with the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the dog's diet to improve the overall quality of its coat. Antihistamines may also be used to reduce the symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for the affected dog.

Prevention

Unfortunately, grass pollen is difficult to control. Owners are recommended to keep grass cut short, rinse the dog's feet and legs after going outside and to have the dog stay inside when pollen counts are elevated.

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