Its difficult to see your own eyes when you can’t stop barking at the mirror, but my humans and their friends kept telling me I had really red eyes and perhaps I should go to the vet to have them checked out. Said and done – we went to the vets last week and it turns out I have dogs hay fever!
Dogs get hayfever too!
The vet explained it is really common that dogs get hayfever and other allergies in big cities because of the pollution. She checked my eyes to see if they were dry, which they weren’t and told my humans that my lower and inner eyelids were swollen and red and that Maxitrol eye drops and antihistamines would probably do the trick.
Apparently a lot of Labradors in our area have similar problems with their eyes in springtime, especially when the weather is dry. Sometimes their eyes get so bad the has to scrape the inside of their eyelids, which sounds horrible – I much prefer the eye drops and pills! A couple of days into my treatment and the humans tell me my eyes seem to be clearing up.
What are other symptoms of dogs’ hay fever?
Turns out I’m pretty lucky. Sometimes when dogs develop allergies to pollen they get really itchy skin and can’t stop scratching themselves to get relief. Some dogs even scratch so hard that they create sores that could become infected if they’re unlucky – they might have to wear a cone on their head to stop them from scratching and get antibiotics for a while. Not nice!
Treatments for dog hay fever
If the dog’s symptoms are seasonal (that means they only occur during for example the mud season, snow season or walkies in the sun season) and seem to last fewer than three months, they can get medications like cortisone to help getting rid of the itching.
Some dogs even get a skin allergy test to find out exactly what allergens they are sensitive to. If their allergy is really bad, sometimes the dog can receive injections of small doses of what they are allergic to, slowly building up their immunity. The vets also sometime recommend treatments like immunotherapy, antihistamies like I got, steroids and special medicated shampoos.
I wonder what they do if it turns out you’re allergic to cats – do you get to eat small parts of cats every day for a while to build up our immune system?