If your furry friend is among the estimated 10 percent of dogs in America who suffer from hay fever, she may display symptoms similar to those in humans – and a few of her own. Recognizing and discussing these symptoms with your veterinarian will help to get her through this rough patch.
Itchy skin is the most common symptom of hay fever in dogs. Pollen that penetrates your dog's pores or is inhaled can result in itchy, agitated skin. She is likely to bite and aggressively scratch her skin, and frantically rub against furniture or an innocent house guest to find comfort. Your dog may also search for cool concrete or hard floors to stretch out on and soothe her itch.
Your dog's fur, on her face and feet particularly, may start to thin due to the constant scratching and biting. Her skin underneath may break into a nasty rash, that left untreated by your veterinarian may even bleed or become infected. Avoid this by checking under your dog's fur for a rash when she displays these symptoms.
In some cases, dogs display signs of respiratory problems due to an overreaction to airborne or inhaled allergens. The reactions are similar to those we experience when suffering from hay fever or asthma. If your dog is allergic to them, certain pollen and spores she inhales will cause her immune system to produce histamines. These histamines will create swelling of her respiratory tract, resulting in panting, wheezing and noticeable difficulty breathing.
Runny Nose, Watery Eyes and Sneezing
In some cases, the nose and eye problems that plague human sufferers can also affect your four-legged friend if she has hay fever. The pollen, molds and grasses that are in the air during hay fever season may cause her eyes to water, her nose to run and even an occasional sneezing fit. Stand by with a box of tissues to help her through this tough period.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.