Pollen, can cause Fido to sneeze too

pet1Toby, my Pug/Terrier/Beagle mix, is a pretty happy dog for the most part – though he has his moments of grumpiness and anxiousness. Some say he mimics my personality.

He also has some other traits that I have, and many of you are suffering from right now.

Toby has an allergy to pollen, some grasses, hay, dust mites, Texas trees and even cats. Yes, for real. My dog is allergic to cat dander. I wouldn’t have believed it in a zillion years and probably wouldn’t have known what to look for had it not been for the veterinarians and students at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

While I was living just a hop, skip and jump away from Aggie town, Toby was going through this crazy stage. He was always licking and chewing at himself and his feet. I thought at first it was fleas, maybe? Or something he ate? Or the shampoo we used?

It all turned out that my canine companion was allergic to the same things I was for the most part. Where my nose itches, my eyes water, my ears stop up or my head hurts because of pollen in the trees and grass,  Toby’s feet would itch. His eyes water because of dust and mold. Cats make my eyes swell and my face gets all red. Toby actually sneezes.

According to the Aggie vets, dogs and cats can occasionally get the same symptoms we have to allergies, but for the most part – they scratch a lot.  I get a lot of ear infections due to my allergies, so I had to laugh when they said that some of Toby’s ear problems were due to his allergies.

Maybe I really am more like my dog than he is of me.

Environmental allergens that are inhaled or come into contact with the skin cause allergies known as atopy in pets – i.e. pollen, mold and dust mites are examples of this. Flea allergy dermatitis comes from allergies from flea bites. Food allergies are pretty self-explanatory. Contact allergies in pets are less common, and are normally caused by something your pet comes in direct contact with.

Harrison and Marion counties have a plethora of good veterinarians. If your pet is exhibiting any type of odd symptoms – make an appointment today.

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