Dogs and cats can also suffer from grass pollen allergies

As those of us that suffer from hay fever know, there has been an awful lot of grass pollen in the air over the past few days. Some of us will feel the need to scratch, suffer bouts of sneezing, have runny eyes and if we’re really unlucky all of the above. What most of us don’t realise is that our pets can also suffer allergic reactions to the presence of excess pollen in the air. 

The Mechelen (Antwerp Province) vet Bart Vander Kuylen told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that a growing number of dogs and cats are suffering from hay fever. “During the past few years, I've been seeing this more and more often at my practice. Dogs don’t sneeze, but start itching terribly". 

There is currently three times the normal level of grass pollen in the air and this is taking its toll on hay fever suffers be they two- or four-legged. Dr Bart Vander Kuylen told VRT Radio 2 that during the past few days he has been kept very busy dealing with dogs and cats that are suffering from allergic reactions to the pollen.

"Around this time of the year we send a lot of samples to the laboratory for an allergy tests. The result often shows that the pet is allergic to grass pollen. These tests are quite expensive, around 140 euro. While humans with hay fever sneeze or get red eyes, dogs and cats react quite differently. “

"With dogs and cats, the allergic reaction doesn’t manifest itself in the sinuses, but rather on the skin. They start to ich badly and have to scratch hard. Dog usually get it worse than cats do. Often people think that it is linked to the dog’s food, so they try something else of the start to google. But my advice remains come to the vet’s.  The vet will ensure that your dog reacts less adversely to the pollen and that it is in less discomfort”, Dr Vander Kuylen told VRT Radio 2. 

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