Dog allergens originate in the saliva, skin and urine.
Dog allergens originate in the saliva, skin and urine. These lightweight, sticky substances can drift and contaminate by attaching to a dog’s coat and to clothes, upholstered furniture and mattresses. The allergens that produce the allergic reaction in some humans can cause inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include intense itching, tearing and swelling of the eye membranes or eyelids.
Preventive steps can reduce the allergens that cause the discomfort associated with allergies. Vacuum and steam clean carpets to clear away the dandruff and hair from the living area used by the dog. Hard floors are easier to clean than carpets that may hide hair or pet dander. Wash walls and baseboards. At home, set aside at least one room and bedroom where the pet cannot enter.
Consult with a veterinarian about appropriate products to clean the dog’s dandruff. Wash and brush the dog’s fur weekly to reduce the amount of allergens. Be aware that some dog shampoos can cause external allergies and itching in dogs. Modifying the dog’s diet to include natural fats may minimize dry skin and flaking.
Home Care Treatment
Treatment for itchy eyes from dog allergies includes home care and medications. Removing the cause can start with flushing out allergens from the eyes and removing any discharge. Apply a clean, wet washcloth to clean the eyelids and face. Rinse the eyes with warm water. Apply a cold, wet washcloth to the itchy eye. At night, washing hair will reduce the small, sticky pollen collected. Patients who wear contact lenses may want to wear glasses to prevent damage to the cornea.
Medications to treat itchy eyes from dog allergies include antihistamines, and corticosteroids and immunotherapy.
Antihistamines protect tissues from the effects of the allergies. While antihistamines will block the actions of the histamines that cause the allergic reactions, they do not stop the allergic reaction. Oral antihistamines come in pill and liquid forms. Antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) and clemastine (Tavist). Side effects include dry mouth and drowsiness.
Antihistamine eye drops may need to be applied many times per day and are effective for only a few hours. Antihistamines can reduce symptoms such as redness, itchy eyes and swelling. These eye drops can increase risk of eye inflammation for contact lens users. Prolonged use may even result in more swelling and redness.
Oral corticosteroids, dispensed in pill or liquid form, can treat severe systems, but not cure the allergy. Examples include the steroid Prednisone (Prednisone Intesol) and prednisolone (Prelone, others). Short- and long-term side effects can result
Corticosteroid eye drops can treat severe allergy signs and symptoms such as red, watery and itchy eyes. Prolonged use may increase risk of eye infections, glaucoma and cataracts.
Artificial tears offer soothing relief after temporarily washing allergens from the eye. These drops can moisten dry and irritated eyes.
Mast cell stabilizers in eye drop form can also reduce allergy symptoms and relieve itchy eyes from dog allergies. When applied before exposure to the allergen, these eye drops prevent the release of histamine that causes allergy symptoms. Antihistamine/Mast Cell Stabilizers offer both antihistamine and a mast cell stabilizer for treating itchy eyes caused by dog allergies. Apply twice a day for relief.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) eye drops can relieve itching. Patients, however, may experience side effects of stinging or burning in the eyes.
Immunotherapy injections involve a series of injections of increasing dosages containing tiny amounts of allergen extracts over a long period. These allergy shots aim to desensitize the patient to the allergen. If successful, the injections reduce or eliminate the need for medications.