Irritating Allergies

Humans don’t have a lock on annoying symptoms

Oh my! It’s allergy season again for Rugby, my toy poodle.  It manifests as incessant licking of his paws, and I find saliva pools on furniture and bedding. My wife finds it quite disgusting. And Rugby can do nothing wrong in her opinion.

On the other hand, I’m a veterinarian so it is assumed that I like this kind of thing.  I wake up often, however, with the sounds of chewing and scratching from this little ball of fur.  More importantly, imagine how Rugby feels.  Unlike us humans who typically show hay fever symptoms with congestion, sneezing, breathing issues and itchy eyes, allergies in dogs are primarily expressed in the skin.  This means that if Rugby is allergic to grass pollen, then he licks his feet, scratches his sides and rubs his face.  In fact, it doesn’t really matter whether he breathes in the pollen or comes into contact with it, same result.

Avoidance is ideal; however, Rugby’s personal powder room is the great outdoors and there is no avoiding grass. Fortunately, there are lots of exciting new allergy medications for dogs, and they work! Rugby takes a little pill every day with peanut butter. In fact, he reminds us to give it to him by body slamming the pantry door every afternoon.

If your dog is licking his or her feet incessantly, ask your veterinarian about what you can do. Your furball will thank you for it, and everyone will sleep much better.   

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