Mar 13 2013

Why itchy dogs lick their feet

Spring is coming soon, and with the warmer weather comes allergies.  Animals have allergies too, but sometimes their allergies come in different forms.

The Bradford Pears outside our front door.

Pollens in the air are seen by an animal’s immune system as foreign invaders (much like a parasite).  They cause a histamine release meant to expel the pollen from the eye or the nose and will cause the “ooze”.  This can lead to itchy, red, watery eyes and a sniffle, sniff or snort.  If you are sneezing, most likely the same pollen is affecting your furry friend.  Antihistamines can help with this issue.

Dogs can also pick up these pollens on their feet when they walk through the grass.  This can lead to a local allergic reaction which causes the itch and lick.  Pups that are particularly prone to wallowing in the grass can come inside and have a much larger reaction and redness all over their body.  Antihistamines can also be used to help with this problem but a simple clean with baby wipes on the feet after coming inside can make a huge difference!

Many breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others.  Westies, Shih Tzus, Poodles, Bully Breeds, Boxers, Schnauzers, Malteses, and Bichons are most commonly represented.  However, any breed can have allergies.  So if you find youself getting the sneezies along with your dog licking its feet, then you may have the same problem with the spring bloom.

– Doc Cleland

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