3628 Lynoak Dr. #107, Claremont, CA



Dr. Ken Tudor
Holistic Veterinarian

Bee pollen for dogs. Bee pollen is believed to be a “super-food” that improves resistance to disease.

Bee Pollen: How It Can Help Your Allergic Dog

April 11, 2016

Allergy season is here. My caseload of allergic dogs has certainly doubled in the last month. It seems worse this year than others. Some are citing the drought here in California for the increased pollen counts. Whatever the reason, allergic skin and ear problems are making these dogs miserable. But treating the skin and ears with antibiotics, antifungal, antihistamine and steroid or other drugs is just treating the symptoms, not solving the problem.

Ideally, allergy testing to find out what pollens are causing the allergies and then giving allergy shots or oral drops to decrease the allergic response would seem to be a more direct way to solve the problem, right? Well here is the reality if you do spend the hundreds of dollars for testing and immune-therapy:

1) Blood tests are not 100% accurate for pollens and totally inaccurate for food
2) Skin testing is the “Gold Standard” for pollen allergies but is more expensive and uncomfortable for the dog
3) There is only about a 25% chance that allergy shots or oral drops will completely solve the problem
4) There is a 50% chance it will decrease symptomatic care but not eliminate it
5) There is a 25% chance that your dog won’t respond at all
6) There is no good test for food allergies other than strict homemade food trials for 8 weeks with each type of protein and carbohydrate

No wonder so many dogs are simply treated for the symptoms. But treatment is also a mixed bag.

• Most dogs do not respond to antihistamines. Benadryl has become virtually useless and I have resorted to Zyrtec and Claritin type products but with limited success.
• Long-term use of corticosteroids is harmful for your dog’s liver and immune system.
• Newer, safer treatments like Atopic and Apoquel are outrageously expensive.

But there may be a less expensive, natural way to treat allergies. The answer for some dogs may be Bee Pollen.

What is “bee pollen” how does bee pollen work for allergies?

You have all probably seen bees with yellow bags on their back legs. That is pollen they have collected from all of the plants they have visited while collecting nectar to make honey. Bees are not fussy and will visit any flower, large or small, including many with pollens to which your dog is allergic. This pollen is collected from the bees by bee keepers and sold alongside their honey.

Bee pollen is believed to be a “superfood” that improves resistance to disease, improves endurance, extends longevity and protects from radiation and cancer. The science is a bit shaky for all of these claims. But it does make sense that it can help with allergies.

Giving a dog small doses of pollen to which it is allergic is the same as giving shots or oral drops containing the same pollen proteins. It is a natural way to desensitize your dog to pollens. But there are some things about treating with bee pollen you should know:

1) Bee pollen should come from local bees. Your dog is sensitive to plants in your area but may not be allergic to pollens from other parts of the state or US with different climates and flowering plants and grasses.
2) Start with very low doses. Because you dog is allergic to the very pollen proteins you are giving, it could develop a strong allergic reaction. That is why the shots and drops start with low doses and increase it over time. Like the injections and oral drops, bee pollen should be used under veterinary supervision.
3) Bee pollen may not work for your dog. Even with pollen from local bees there is no guarantee that it contains the right mix to help your dog.

Bee pollen is an inexpensive, natural and safe way to give your dog relief from allergies. Why not give it a try? Consult a holistic veterinarian in your area.

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Bee Pollen: How It Can Help Your Allergic Dog

Dog Diseases and Complementary Therapies

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