Health

Can Dogs Have Hay Fever? Caution!

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Author: Jacob Kay

Being a paw parent your fur baby’s health must be an important factor in your life. If your fur baby is not doing well the first thing you do is to browse the symptoms and get the information. Hay fever is one such condition which is not noticed early and is misunderstood as a normal allergic reaction. In such a situation, the question might arise, “Can dogs have hay fever?”

Through our blog, we will provide you with all the required information, about what is hay fever and how it affects dogs.

Can Dogs Have Hay Fever?

What Is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is a condition caused due to the allergens[1] like pollen, mites, dust and pet dander. This condition is also known as allergic rhinitis, it mainly affects the eyes, nose and skin. Both humans and canines are at risk of developing this condition.

Hay fever is a seasonal condition but may prevail year-round. The main seasons when one might get affected by this condition are spring and summer. This hay fever affects the quality of life and can be serious if not treated on time.

The seasonal hay fever is mainly caused by the pollen from air, grass, trees or weeds. Whereas hay fever which is perennial is caused by mold, animal dander or dust mites. Hay fever can also be occupational and is caused by chemicals, wood dust or latex.

Can Dogs Have Hay Fever?

Yes, just like humans dogs too can develop hay fever. According to one study, it was observed that at least 10% of dogs in the UK suffer from either hay fever or allergic reactions.

dogs with pollen sensitivity

Generally, dogs who are not exposed to grass, weeds and plants frequently are likely to develop hay fever in the near future. If your dog is not exposed to the pollens then he can become sensitive to them. The dogs with such pollen sensitivity when come in contact with them develop hay fever more rapidly.

Hay fever can affect the quality of your dog’s life and make them lethargic and uninterested. Some breeds like West Highland, Terris, Golden Retrievers or boxers are more prone to develop hay fever.

Symptoms of Hay Fever in Dogs

Hay fever mainly affects the dog’s eyes, nose and skin. Here are a few symptoms to look for in your dog to know if he is suffering from hay fever:

Symptoms of Hay Fever in Dogs
  • Constant sneezing: If your dog is suddenly constantly sneezing then don’t ignore this sign. This can be the early symptoms of hay fever and needs to be addressed medically.
  • Itchy eyes: For dogs suffering from, hay fever itchy eyes is common. So if your dog has itchy eyes and runny eyes with redness in them, then consult a vet for further diagnosis.
  • Runny nose: Often runny nose is associated with a cold. If your dog is not showing the other symptoms of a cold along with a runny nose then it can be a sign of hay fever.
  • Skin irritation: As hay fever also has an effect on your dog’s skin, your dog may experience skin irritation. If your dog is biting the skin or is scratching it constantly then consult a vet.
  • Patches on the skin: If you notice sore patches on your dog’s skin then it can be a sign of either hay fever or any skin allergy. In both ways, it needs to be addressed.
  • Rashes: Hay fever can lead to rashes on your dog’s face and body. If you notice frequent rashes on your dog’s body then you need to seek medical advice regarding the same.

What Causes Hay Fever in Dogs?

ragweed

The cause of your dog developing hay fever is the allergic reaction to pollen. These pollens leading to hay fever are from grass, trees, weeds or any other plants. The most common pollens behind your dog developing hay fever are oats, corn and ragweed.

The pollens are present in the air and when your dog inhales the air or comes in contact with them they suffer from hay fever. The contact of pollen, the immune system of the dog reacts negatively and produces the chemical.

Due to the reaction between pollen and the dog’s immune system, inflammation, itching and runny nose occur in the dog. The type of pollen depends upon the region and weather. Some dogs might be allergic to some kind of pollen while others may not be.

As mentioned by Melissa Boldan, DVM in petmd, "When dogs inhale or consume pollen by licking their feet or fur, they can have various allergic reactions. The tiny pollen particle is seen as a foreign substance by the dog’s immune system, which mounts an attack in response. The main cell type the immune system mobilizes during the attack is called a mast cell. Mast cells are responsible for the production of histamine, among other biochemicals. When histamine is released, it causes itching, redness, and swelling."

How To Treat Hay Fever in Dogs?

Here are the ways to treat hay fever in dogs and ways to manage the symptoms in dogs:

Treat Hay Fever in Dogs
  • Spring and summer are the pollen season, make sure you keep your dog indoors during this period.
  • After walk keep the habit of wiping your dog’s paw. This will prevent the removal of any attached pollen.
  • Using air filters or purifiers can reduce the amount of pollen in the air. If your dog is sensitive to pollen then you can consider using it.
  • If your dog is suffering from hay fever already then keep the surroundings near him clean. The clean surroundings especially the bedding can help in reduction in irritation.
  • Provide your dog with a blanched diet full of nutrients, this will help in strengthening the dog’s immune system.

FAQs

Can dogs have hay fever?

Yes, dogs can have hay fever. Just like humans dogs too can get affected by it. Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen present in the air. Hay fever affects the dog’s nose, eyes and skin. If not treated then this hay fever can become a serious issue for your dog.

What can you give dogs for hay fever?

If your dog is suffering from hay fever then it is recommended to consult a vet as soon as possible. A vet upon examining the condition of your dog will likely suggest the medicated shampoo, skin sprays, eye drops, and nose spray. To reduce the allergic reaction and swelling antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medicines can also be suggested.

How long do hay fever symptoms last?

The duration of hay fever symptoms depends upon the type of allergens your dog has contacted and also the seriousness of the disease. Normally the symptoms of hay fever last for about 6 months. In many cases, it has been noticed that the hay fever symptoms lasted for almost a year.

Can hay fever affect my dog’s behaviour or mood?

Yes, having a hay fever can surely affect your dog’s mood. Not only hay fever for that matter of fact suffering from any disease or medical condition can disrupt your dog’s mood. Due to hay fever, your dog can become restless, lethargic, irritated and uninterested.

How can I tell the difference between hay fever and other allergies in dogs?

Hay fever and allergic reactions in dogs may appear to be similar however they are different and require different treatments. The major difference between hay fever and an allergic reaction is that hay fever generally occurs during summer and spring.

Conclusion

Hay fever may not seem to be a serious condition but in reality, it is. We hope that through our blog, “Can Dogs Have Hay Fever?” we have successfully provided you with all the required information. We hope that our provided information helps you to analyse the hay fever symptoms and seek medical attention on time.

If you notice any symptoms of hay fever in your dog, consult a vet immediately. A vet will diagnose your dog and rule out whether the symptoms are of allergic reaction or of hay fever. After a checkup, a vet will treat your dog accordingly.

Reference:

  1. Canine allergic disease. (2018b, January 29). Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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