It’s overseed time again in the Valley of the Sun. Last weekend, the grounds crew at Troon North mowed down the dried bermuda, scraped up the remnants and then reseeded the courses with rye grass. Bits of grass and dust hung heavy in the air. Thank goodness, the men wore respiratory protection as clouds of dust swirled around their tractors. The neighborhood swimming pools sported a layer of dust floating gently on the surface of the water.
Overseed is my least favorite time of the year in Phoenix because it is hard on my patients who suffer with allergies, asthma and atopy. The dogs often suffer from fits of reverse sneezing, they itch and break with hotspots (localized moist dermatitis caused by staph). The cats start to wheeze and hide. To protect your pets, I recommend purchasing an air purifier for the room where they spend the most time. Mine is set-up in the master bedroom. Use your air conditioner and keep the windows in your home tightly closed. Wait until the dust has cleared before opening windows to enjoy the cool night air. You may need to avoid outdoor activities including walks for at least a week if your dog is highly susceptible to dust or grass.
For many animals those steps alone will keep them comfortable. If not, please contact your veterinarian to obtain the appropriate dose of an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine. Patients with more advanced asthma, atopy or allergies might require stronger medications or require a larger quantity of their maintenance drugs to stay comfortable during the overseed. If you notice any change in your pet, please call your veterinarian for advice. I hate to see pets suffer needlessly during this time of year.