Dealing with your dog's allergies

Tuesday, September 21st 2004, 10:01 am
By: News On 6

This has been a pretty bad allergy season so far. Lots of people sneezing and wheezing. It's been a tough allergy season for our dogs too. There are ways recognize the problem in dogs and help relieve their suffering.

News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells says it has been a tough season this year for allergies, pollen counts are way up, ragweed is growing like a weed. Natural to assume our dogs are suffering just like we are. Well they are.

Sunshine is spending some time at the vet. She doesn't have any specific allergy problems, but her vet Dr Jim Osborn says Golden Retrievers are one of the allergic breeds. "In our experience the Bishon Freze is a very allergic breed. The west Highland White is a very allergic dog and alot of time the Scottish Terriers is allergic also."

He says dogs are not having any more allergy problems now than they probably have always had, we just notice them. "Now that people are more closely associated with there pets, they see the problems that are there." And he says we know more about them now. He says there are three principal allergies, environmental ones, like grass and pollen, fleas and food allergies.

Oddly food allergies often show up in persistent ear infections. Fleas are controllable with several products. “Sometimes it's so hot in late July and August the fleas slow down, then they really thrive in September and October."

The environmental allergies usually show up as persistent paw licking after a trip to the yard. "Bathing the dog in an allergy shampoo that doesn't strip away the oils and is gentle on the skin is an excellent way to control some of the allergies."

As for Sunshine she's in great shape.

Dr Osborn said one first step remedy for allergy related itching is over the counter Benadryl. Here commends a dosage of one milligram per pound of body weight.

He also recommends talking to your own vet, but in most cases it works well and is perfectly safe.