Grass allergies are common in dogs and they are inhalant allergies that can be caused by pollen and associated with grasses. The grass pollens are airborne so your dog does not have to be on the grass to have symptoms. Grass allergies will hurt the skin of dogs or upper respiratory allergies.
This allergy will generally get worse in the spring and fall seasons when grass pollen has more common because of the variation of seasonal species. But this will create a problem for your dog the overall year. The grass pollens are absorbed in the dog by the mucus membranes and skin. Many dogs with grass allergies might also have food allergies and fleas.
Grass allergies occur in dogs at any age but there are many dogs in which this allergy starts after age 1. Because of the prior exposure to the allergen. While the symptoms might be frustrating for the dog and most of them are not life-threatening.
A severe allergic reaction, is known as anaphylaxis and is rare. Anaphylaxis will occur between 5-30 minutes of the contact along with the allergens. The symptoms in dogs can be different than symptoms in the human body because of the different shock organs involved. In dogs, there are many things you might see which are severe hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial swelling, and increased respiratory rate. There might be diarrhea and vomiting or without blood.
Symptoms of Grass Allergies in Dogs:
- Constant Itching
- Redness of skin
- A rash will also appear because of the haircoat on dogs, visible rash, and redness will be difficult to see
- Pruritus, armpits, feet, and sides of the body.
Reasons for Gross Allergies in Dogs:
Grass allergies in dogs occur because of common grass pollens as I earlier mention such as fescue, alfalfa, fescue, and rye have the same symptoms as allergies. This will cause by the pollens from trees and weeds.
The dogs that like to roll in the grass will have direct contact with the allergy. The other might get symptoms while inhaling the pollen during a walk in a simple area where grass pollen is present even indoors.
This creates continuously during the fall and spring seasons when the grass is growing and pollen leaves then a yellow trail of dust will be left behind. If your dog walks from the area where the pollen is present and also allergens come into contact with the mucous membranes.
How Veterinarians Diagnose Grass Allergies in the Dogs:
Your dog veterinarian will take a complete history that relates to the symptoms that are present in the dog. This will include the severity, seasonality, duration, and treatment if needed. The next step of yours will be through the examination of the skin and hair coat. The distribution of hair loss, rashes, dry or oily skin, scratches, and lesions on the skin like pimples, and skin irritation will help to determine the diagnosis.
The treatment can be started based on the clinical symptoms alone and it is without any testing needed. It will depend on the case and if the topical or conservative treatments are not effective. In addition, further testing will be needed.
The primary veterinarian will perform the serum blood that tests all the allergies. Although, the gold standard of allergy testing and the one test which provides the most exact result. It is known as an intradermal skin test and it is taken by a veterinary dermatologist.
The intradermal test is performed under mild sedation. One side of the dog’s abdomen is shaved and the specific allergens are injected. The total area is get analyzed by the presence of hives and indicated the allergic reaction to the particular allergen that was injected in the location. If the allergens are analyzed, then the treatment is designed to define the individual pet.
Treatments of Grass Allergies in Dogs:
The purpose or mission of the treatment is to control the symptoms as most grass allergies in the dog cannot be cured. The treatment of dogs depends on the severity of the symptoms. If the symptoms are moderate ten the below points of topical therapies are highly recommended.
1. Clean the body of the dog outdoors:
Make sure that when your dog comes from outside then you have to clean the body of the dog after coming from outside. It will prevent the chewing and licking of feet and the symptom of itching. You can also use mild soap and water, medicated wipes, and aloe pet wipes which contain antimicrobial antifungal ingredients.
2. Bathing in a pet shampoo:
You can use the hypoallergenic or mild oatmeal-based shampoo which removes the allergens before they are absorbed into the skin. This will help to stop and decrease the itching in the dog’s body.
3. Hydrocortisone Shampoo and hydrocortisone Sprays:
This type of product is available over the counter and it will help alleviate the mild discomfort of itchy, red skin. Remember that you don’t use the ointments and creams that are intended for humans. These are not formulated for pets and thicker creams draw attention to a specific area. It will also the licking and exacerbate the itch.
4. Few doses of corticosteroids:
The medications like prednisone and Cytopoint might be purchased to help alleviate itching. These are the prescription medications and in the end, your veterinarian will decide which medication is best for your dog.
5. Hypersensitization and Immunotherapy therapy:
These two therapies can be used when the allergens have been analyzed by a blood or intradermal skin test. The treatment can be provided in two forms which are oral liquid medications and weekly injections. So in these two therapies which are formulated specifically, it depends on the allergy test.
Recovery and the Management of the Grass Allergies in the Dogs:
It is really important to analyze or at least narrow down which grasses your dog is getting allergic to stop the symptoms. The dogs will encounter all types of grasses which include yards, dog parks, and fields. It is helpful to know which type of grasses are in your area then try to avoid that area if possible.
The allergies can be managed and the symptoms can be controlled, but you should not expect that they will be 100% cured. If the symptoms got reduced to 80% then you can consider the treatment will be successful.
These are the treatment and reasons for the grass allergic problem if it is found in the body of your dog. Make sure to wash the body of your dog when you bring him home back from outside. You can also avoid the area which has grass and you know the dog will go there.
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