What are Summer Season Allergies?
Summer season allergies in dogs can be quite annoying, especially if your dog enjoys going outside. In the summer, pollen is usually the biggest hindrance to dogs that are allergic, along with stinging insects and smog. Many people relate allergies to the springtime; however, summer can be just as difficult for allergy-suffering dogs.
Fortunately, summer season allergies are controllable once you are able to discover precisely what your dog is allergic to. If your dog already has spring allergies, or even possibly fall allergies, he may be allergic to pollen. If you already know this, then going to the summer months may be a little easier on you, as the dog owner, because you already know the triggers.
Even though the trees have already released their pollen in the spring, there are many other plants and shrubs that also release this substance. Weeds, ragweed, certain grasses, and other summer plants release pollen. Actually, summer allergies can be more severe since many of the plants that release the pollen are low to the ground where your dog usually tends to walk, lay, and play.
Other allergens in the summer include stinging insects such as wasps, hornets, fire ants, yellow jackets, and other similar insects. Dogs, like humans, may have a very severe reaction to a sting, so is important to monitor your dog when outdoors. Smog is the other culprit for summer allergies, especially in cities. The air pollution from car exhaust and other chemicals in combination with summer breezes can trigger an allergic reaction in your dog multiple times per day.
Summer season allergies in dogs occur when dogs’ allergies flair up due to the many common allergens of summer. Summer season allergies can range from mild to severe, and should be treated by a veterinarian.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Summer Season Allergies in Dogs
There are many symptoms of summer season allergies. Often, if you are unaware that your dog has allergies, you may not recognize his symptoms as actual allergic reactions. Symptoms of summer season allergies in dogs include:
- Red and watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Irritated and itchy skin
- Dry or scaly skin
- Nasal discharge
- Excessive licking and scratching
Many plants contribute to summer allergies in dogs. Many of them release pollen, and ragweed releases a very large amount. The following types of plants may affect your dog if he is allergic to pollen:
- Various grasses
- Blue grasses
- Red Top
- Sweet vernal
Causes of Summer Season Allergies in Dogs
The causes of summer season allergies in dogs depends on the type of allergy, but many of them are the same. Causes of summer season allergies in dogs include:
- Coming into contact with summer-specific allergens
- The over-reactive immune system to pollen or other summer allergens
- Immune system sensitivity causes mild to severe reactions and symptoms
Diagnosis of Summer Season Allergies in Dogs
If you suspect your dog has summer season allergies, it is important to take into the veterinarian rather than attempting to medicate him yourself. Although there are allergy treatments on the market today, and there is much advice out there that over-the-counter Benadryl is safe for dogs, it is important to hold back on giving your dog any medications without the advice of a veterinarian.
Once you take your dog to the veterinarian, he will assess his symptoms and ask a variety of questions. Questions may include those that pertain to the start of his allergies, his symptoms, and how long they last. The veterinarian may also want information on the types of trees and plants around your home and if your dog is on any flea treatments (if your dog is having a skin reaction).
If your dog is suffering from nasal abnormalities, such as wheezing and a runny nose, the veterinarian may use a scope to take a closer look at his nasal area. If the nasal area looks as if there may be an infection, the veterinarian may choose to run some tests just to be sure if it is related to allergies.
If your dog’s symptoms occurred after a possible bee sting or another insect sting, the veterinarian will assess the site of the irritation. He may need to immediately treat your dog if he is having a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting, such as anaphylaxis.
Once your veterinarian takes a look at his symptoms and acquires the history on your dog, he may diagnose him with seasonal allergies. A skin test may be taken to specify the allergen if his skin is affected; however, the veterinarian may not do this until other treatments are attempted. However, if your dog’s skin is extremely irritated and looks as if it is infected, the medical professional may go ahead and test it.
Treatment of Summer Season Allergies in Dogs
Treatment of summer season allergies in dogs will depend on the dog’s symptoms. Treatment of these seasonal allergies may include:
With proper questioning about your dog’s environment, the veterinarian will give you instructions on what to have your dog avoid. If your veterinarian suspects pollen as the source, this may not be able to be avoided since he goes outside, but he may suggest limiting his outdoor time. If your dog’s skin is affected, the veterinarian may suggest that he not roll around or lay in grass or weeded areas.
If changing your dog’s environment is not an option, then your veterinarian may suggest specific antihistamines and possibly a small dosage of steroids for temporary use. Once your dog has begun taking these medications, his symptoms should dissipate after approximately one week. Allergy shots are typically limited to dogs that suffer allergies year-round; however, your veterinarian may suggest them if he is having severe allergic reactions.
Your medical professional may suggest a specific type of shampoo or mild cleanser to bathe your dog regularly at home. He may also suggest a topical solution to put on his coat.
Recovery of Summer Season Allergies in Dogs
With summer season allergies, prognosis is good once they are able to be controlled. You may choose to control them by changing your dog’s environmental exposure or through medications. Also, be sure to keep your dog flea-free with the flea treatment of your choice.
If you choose to give your dog medications as determined by the veterinarian, and you do not see signs of improvement with his symptoms, you will need to revisit the veterinarian for any further testing. Also, is important to understand that medications do come with side effects, so be sure to ask your physician what you should watch for.
Summer season allergies are common in dogs, and once you find the treatment that works for him, he will be back to himself in no time. Be sure to follow-up with your veterinarian and contact him if you have any questions or concerns, such as if new symptoms develop.