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I am the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I live there with my puppy Bandit. I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  Please feel free to check out our dog walking and pet sitting services.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Does you dog have allergies? What can you do?

Well, it is allergy season again.. high summer, things are blooming, pollinating, flying around, everyone is sneezing and coughing.. even your dog?

Yes, dogs can get allergies. In fact, it is getting more and more common for pets to have allergies.  There could be a thousand reasons for this but for the one suffering, no one really cares what the reason is, they just need some help in relieving the symptoms.

I am lucky, my dog has never had allergies, but I have quite a few clients dogs that do have them and we do administer medications for those ailments.

Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday substances—or allergens— as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. As his body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.

Any dog can develop allergies at any time during his life, but allergic reactions seem to be especially common in terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers.

What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking
Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.

What Substances Can Dogs Be Allergic To?
  • Tree, grass and weed pollens
  • Mold spores
  • Dust and house dust mites
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Fleas and flea-control products (The bite of a single flea can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Fabrics
  • Insecticidal shampoo
  • Rubber and plastic materials
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Food?
Yes, but it often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction. Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, breathing difficulties or gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food he is allergic to. If your dog is specifically allergic to chicken, for example, you should avoid feeding him any products containing chicken protein or fat.

Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Allergies?
Visit your veterinarian. After taking a complete history and conducting a physical examination, he or she may be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction. If not, your vet will most probably recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to find out what's causing the allergic reaction.

How Can Dog Allergies Be Treated?
The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment.

Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Start a flea control program for all of your pets before the season starts. Remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas inside to indoor pets. See your veterinarian for advice about the best flea control products for your dog and the environment.

If dust is the problem, clean your pet's bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weekly—this includes rugs, curtains and any other materials that gather dust.

Weekly bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin. Discuss with your vet what prescription shampoos are best, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, they will need to be put on an exclusive prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Once the allergy is determined, your vet will recommend specific foods or a home-cooked diet.

Are There Allergy Medications for Dogs?
Since certain substances cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may recommend medications to control the allergic reaction.

So yes dogs can get allergies, but don't fret, there are ways to help alleviate those awful symptoms.  If you are concerned about your dog possibly having allergies, get them to your vet right away.  The sooner the better.. for all of you !

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing..
    the dogs are so cute...

    Oolong

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  2. Thanks for nice writing and it's very knowledgeable. The severity of those symptoms will vary from one person to future looking on however serious their allergies are and whether or not or not they need any underlying health issues like asthma attack. I learned it at here http://dogsaholic.com/breeds/dogs-for-people-with-allergies.html

    ReplyDelete