Allergies and Long Hair - Advice Needed! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Allergies and Long Hair - Advice Needed!

Allergy season is upon us in SW Washington - lots of pollen in the air. I had allergy testing done on Finn last spring when his flared, and the results showed him to be sensitive to several weeds, grasses, trees as well as a few foods. Last week, we had several nice days here and I took the boys out to play. He started itching around the base of his tail. I am trying Benadryl with him and the vet's office gave me a spray. I had him checked for anal glands, just to be sure it wasn't that. And he has no fleas. The vet's office said they have seen a large number of dogs in recently with allergies.

So, I know I am going to have to bathe him more often. He does not have the full heavy coat like Augie has, but it is shaggy and probably around 5 inches, or a bit more, long. So, for frequent bathing, it would definitely be helpful to have him in a shorter cut. I am just wondering if the longer hair helps keep the allergens away from the skin or, since the hair is so light and 'floaty', do the allergens enter it find their way to the skin and then become trapped there. Augie does not have a problem with allergies, but he has this long heavy profuse coat. So, when he goes and plays outside, I suppose he is picking up allergens/pollens and bringing them inside and transferring them to Finn when they wrestle??? Oh, man, I wish I hadn't had THAT thought!!

Any thoughts about the long or short coat question? Any helpful ideas on dealing with this?

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 11:03 AM
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Can't comment on the coat length issue, Linda, but have you considered allergy shots for him? It wouldn't help for this year, but he'd be set for next year. My horse had bad allergies when he was younger, and we did allergy shots for him for several years. (they start out more frequently, but eventually you get down to once a month) They completely solved the problem. He hasn't had the shots for about 10 years now, and remains mostly allergy free.

I was told by the vet that allergy shots are not very effective for food allergies, but seem to work well for environmental allergies. If that's the same for dogs, Finn would be a prime candidate.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Karen, yes, I have thought about it and may go that route. We did do the allergy testing last spring. I want him to be able to enjoy the outdoors - he loves it out there - without it causing misery. It is good to hear that the shots were so successful for your horse. My husband had them years ago too. He was having constant sinus infections and coughing all the time - he got the shots and was a lot better. Definitely on my list of possibilities here. A friend brought up the fact that the short hair itself may not help just because it was short, but may help because one would be more inclined to bathe the dog more often because it was an easier task.

Linda, Augie & Finn's Mom
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 07:27 PM
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Personally I just think shorter is easier where all allergies are concerned. Ours and theirs. For us , they just bring in less when they are shorter. For them, it's easier to see what's going on and also to bath. But my boys have been in short coats from the don't know if I am the best judge for the heart ache involved in a puppy cut.

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 12:46 AM
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I wonder if the wipes designed to reduce allergens on pets for human benefits might help wipe of pollen between baths. Or actually after every outside trip so he doesn't get pollen on his bed or on the furniture.
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