Allergic reactions are common in dogs. It is fair to assume that all pet parents have at least once dealt with allergies in their dogs. In the puppy years, the immune system is vulnerable, and as an owner, you are unknown to the things your pooch might be allergic too. Allergies are not a small problem. It is painful to watch your pup in discomfort and miserable from rashes and itching.
Signs of Dog Skin Allergies
If your dog is acting a bit strange or has any of these symptoms going on then you should consult a veterinarian:
- Lack of hunger
- Itchy skin or feet
- Inflamed paws from biting and chewing
- Red skin
- Constant scratching
- Loss of hair
- Rashes on the skin
- Red marks on the tummy area
Your vet will perform a diagnosis to assure if your dog is suffering from a kind of allergy and then try to figure out what might have caused it so that corrective action can be taken. It is not always possible to know the cause of allergy so there is no point in getting hung up on that.
Generally, vets prescribe antihistamine as a cure for allergies, but there are other solutions specific to the kind of allergic reaction. The choice of medication might be influenced by other medical conditions that your dog may have developed.
Types of Allergies-
Allergies are classified based on the source that is causing the allergic reaction like a food item, pollen, fleas, insect bites, chemical substance, and others.
Food allergies can be detected at a very young age in dogs. Puppies can exhibit some usual symptoms if they are sensitive to a particular food group. Proteins are one of such allergens. As you would expect, diarrhea is one of the symptoms; that suggests an allergic reaction to a food group. Irritated dry skin on dogs’ ears is another suspicious activity that raises concern. We have all observed dogs skid across the room on their bottoms in an attempt to relieve itching. It can be due to an allergic response to a food item.
Did you know that wiping or rubbing the face on the ground or furniture immediately after eating can also suggest a problem caused by food? Although this is not always the case, an allergy diagnosis should still be performed to get a heads up on the condition.
Food allergies are very different from food intolerance. Food allergies affect the surface of the body and show symptoms like rashes and itching. Food intolerance affects the interiors and presents with symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.
Treatment for dog food allergies
Identifying which food is the real culprit can be a very time-consuming job, not to mention tricky, involving a process of elimination. It is best to consult a vet. However, if you suspect a food allergy, it is a good idea to eliminate that eatable. Restrict the diet to commercial foods that are labeled as suitable for allergy-prone dogs.
Pollens, Mold, Dust, are allergens that can be inhaled along with air and cause irritation or other allergic reactions. These are seasonal allergies. Some pollen grains can even penetrate the skin at the peak of the allergy-prone season. It always requires a visit to the vet for an appropriate medication.
Treatment for pollen allergies
If your canine has pollen or other air particles-related allergies, you should change his bedding more frequently and try to keep him away from dusty areas. Restrict outdoor activities during high pollen seasons. The Vet may prescribe an antihistamine for this condition. Some times a small dosage of Benadryl is also prescribed to help your dog sleep better because all the irritation and itching makes it difficult for them to get a sound sleep. Never self-prescribe something or medicate your dog without a doctor’s prescription
Fleas belong to the critter’s family. There is a whole variety of critters that can give your dog skin and health problems. Do not neglect this and always set up an appointment with your vet to conduct a diagnose. Several sprays and lotions can be useful in preventing these species from coming near your dog. Frontline, Advantix, and BioSpot are some of the more popular products to protect your pet. Your house may also be infested with fleas and thorough cleaning is advised so that the fleas can’t attack your dog again.
Dermatitis can also develop as a reaction to flea bites in some cases. The flea saliva is to blame. This causes constant scratching in dogs. The itching is of the extent that some dogs get scratch scars on their body. If the problem persists, a severe rash followed by hair loss and even scabbing can be seen.
Treatments for allergic reactions to fleas
Reactions that occur as a result of the bite of the insect or to the insect itself require specific treatment that involves the elimination of those insects. The bite area is treated with medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
As an owner, you can do the following things if you suspect a flea infestation. Use a flea comb to detect the presence of fleas or even mites. Try some flea shampoos for dogs. Be careful about the flea chemicals leading to the fleas leaving their host inside the house. If so, you could be facing some bites yourself.
Other common skin allergies in dogs are caused by direct contact of a substance with the skin, for example, chlorine in a swimming pool. These are called contact allergies. If your dog comes in contact with an allergen that causes skin problems, the first step is to bathe your dog in an allergy relief shampoo to rinse off the allergen and then consult your vet for any concerns over skin damage.
Prevention of Skin Allergies
Once you have managed to diagnose an allergy problem, the next task is to prevent it from re-occurring. Your vet’s job is to help identify which allergen your pet is allergic to and then figure out a corrective/preventative program. In addition to that, you can use a leave-in conditioner after bathing your dog. If you recently changed your dog’s diet, they may be having trouble adjusting to the new food. Try switching them to the original diet. To prevent skin problems in dogs, fish oil capsules are very helpful. The dosage must be prescribed by the vet.