My Dog’s Seasonal Allergies

by Keri K. on November 29, 2010

Lovely, itchy grass

Lovely, itchy grass

Mojito came to live with us in the middle of winter. He had pretty terrible skin at the time (many hairless Chinese Cresteds are prone to skin problems), but it noticeably improved with regular baths and a good grain-free diet. I thought we were getting it under control, until late spring rolled around.

Mo would occasionally lick his paws and rub his muzzle on the rug, which are typical signs of allergies in dogs. But as the grass and pollen began to bloom, he went from sometimes scratching to one constant itch. Having no hair to cushion his scratches, he began to scrape himself raw wherever his back toenails could reach, and chew at the base of his tail and his toes. His feet and underside were pink and sore. Realizing we were dealing with something new here, we went back to the vet.

Because of the timing and his reactions, we were fairly certain Mo was suffering from an inhalant allergy to some sort of pollen (as opposed to a food allergy or contact allergy from something like wool). The first attempt at treatment for this is usually an anti-inflammatory, which helps to relieve the itchy symptoms. Since Mo was red and raw all over, the vet suggested a course of prednisone, a corticosteroid, to decrease his body’s overreaction to the allergens. However, steroids are rarely the long-term solution.

The antihistamine Diphenhydramine, more commonly known as brand name Benadryl, is generally safe for dogs. However, ALWAYS consult with your vet before giving your dog anything meant for humans.

The vet also recommended adding Omega-3 to Mo’s diet (read more about these fatty acids and how they work here), so Mo’s dinner now features a garnish of crumbled Premium Plus Chewable.

Soft Claws Nail Caps also help prevent scratches on flooring & eliminate your need to deal with torn-up furniture.

Soft Claws Nail Caps also help prevent scratches on flooring & eliminate your need to deal with torn-up furniture.

Mo was already getting a weekly bath, but we added occasional rinses with soothing cool water to reduce the amount of allergens that might be on his skin. He often wore t-shirts or long-legged jammies that could be washed after his romps through the grass. I also put Nail Caps on his back toenails, so that even when he did scratch, it was with soft rounded tips instead of claws.

All together, it worked very well. We tried switching to a few other over-the-counter allergy medications as suggested by my vet, but none was as effective for Mo as Benadryl. I was almost as relieved as Mo, because another step in allergy treatment can be hyposensitization, or “allergy shots.” These weekly injections can be expensive, and I feared for Mo’s mental health if we had to subject him to all those vet visits and needles. Although he was improving socially, he was still a shivering wreck when it came to those situations.

As fall came on, I was looking forward to cold spells and snow, if only to kill off all the allergy-inducing pollen plants for Mo’s sake. Unfortunately, we just ended up in the vet office again because of allergy complications… which I will share in Part 2!

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Keri is a lead catalog designer for Drs. Foster and Smith and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UW-Stout. She shares a small home with her husband, two Chinese Crested dogs, two cats, two ferrets, several reptiles and amphibians, and 30-some gallons of freshwater planted aquariums. See more articles by Keri K.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy April 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I have a 17 month old female rat terrier. She has very bad watery eyes. What can I do for her.

JJanessa October 23, 2017 at 11:34 am

This information is really a need for pet lovers. I found this information during surging on internet and really it is very useful for me.

I also found a good information post on Types And Reasons of Allergies in Dogs which will also help you to give a right path to cure your pets.

Best Regards
JJanessa @ PetSeed

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