Has someone told you that their dog is allergic? Have you had your vet suggest that allergies might be a problem for your pet? Are you concerned that your dog suffers from allergies? If yes, you’ve likely realized that dog allergies aren’t as straightforward as we’d like. There are a variety of allergies that can be the cause of some of the signs in your dog’s body.
Types of Allergies in Dogs
Allergies are an unintentional reaction to foreign substances in your body’s immune system, so pet owners and people are susceptible to them. There are many types of allergies for dogs, and food allergies, skin allergies, and environmental allergens present challenges to dogs and their owners. To complicate things, it is possible that the symptoms of the various types of allergies can overlap.
Skin allergies often referred to as allergic dermatitis, are the most frequent allergic reaction for dogs. There are three primary reasons for allergy to dogs’ skin:
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Food allergy
- Environmental allergens
Atopic dermatitis due to fleas causes an allergic reaction to fleabite, and certain breeds of dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas. The affected dog is extremely itchy, particularly around the tail’s base, and the skin can be red, inflamed, and affected by scabs. There is also evidence of fleas, like flea dust, or you may even spot the fleas.
Food sensitivities and food allergies can trigger itchy skin. The most frequently affected areas for pets with food allergies itch are their ears and paws, which could be associated with digestive issues.
Allergens from the environment, like pollen, dust, and mold, may trigger an allergic reaction to atopic substances or atopic skin rashes. Most of the time, this type of allergy is seasonal, meaning that you might be able to notice that your dog is itching at certain seasons. Like foods, some of the affected places are the paws and the ears (but are also affected by wrists, muzzle, ankles, underarms, groin around the eyes, and between your toes).
All skin allergies come with the possibility of secondary infections. When your pet scratches, bites, and licks his skin, it is possible for him to expose your skin to bacterial and yeast infections that could require treatment.
The truth about food allergy isn’t as widespread as many people believe, according to AKC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jerry Klein. True food allergies cause an immune response that can manifest in various symptoms, including skin issues (hives and facial swelling itching) and gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting or diarrhea). In rare instances, an extreme reaction in anaphylaxis may occur, similar to severe peanut allergy in humans.
What happens to all the dogs eating hypoallergenic diets for dogs?
The most common explanation when they claim that their dog is suffering from an allergy to food is their underlying food sensitivities, also known as food intolerance. In contrast to allergies, these food sensitivities do not trigger an immune response but are more of a gradual reaction to an ingredient offending within your dog’s diet, such as eggs, beef, chicken, wheat, and soy milk.
Dogs who are sensitive to food can be afflicted with various symptoms, including digestive symptoms like nausea or diarrhea and dermatologic signs such as itchiness, dry skin and coat, and persistent foot or ear infections.
The most effective method to identify and cure an allergy to food is to consult with your veterinarian to address your dog’s symptoms and determine what ingredient is responsible for the reaction.
Acute Allergic Reactions
The most alarming kind of dog allergy can be an extreme allergic response. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to anaphylactic shock in a severe allergic reaction, and it can be fatal if the allergy is not addressed.
Bee stings, vaccine reactions, and other reactions may trigger an allergic response in particular dogs. That is why it’s recommended to check on your dog following the application of any new vaccination or other drug or product. Fortunately, anaphylactic reactions in dogs are infrequent.
Your dog could also experience hives or facial swelling due to the allergen. The swelling of the throat, face, eyes, lips, or earflaps can be severe; however, it is not usually fatal. Your veterinarian may treat it with an antihistamine.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
The signs of allergic reactions in dogs can vary based on the reason. If a dog is in anaphylactic shock, it will experience increased blood pressure, followed by surprise, which is distinct from skin conditions.
However, these symptoms may be signs that you have an allergy in general.
- The face is swelling the lips, ears, eyelids, or earflaps
- Red, inflamed skin
- Itchy ears
- Chronic Otitis otosauri
- Itchy eyes, bloody eyes
- Constant licking
These symptoms may be an indication of a condition that is not present. You should consult your vet to receive an accurate diagnosis and help your dog is feeling better.
Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs
If you’ve ever had allergy tests, you are aware that diagnosing allergy is usually complex.
The first thing that your veterinarian could check for is to rule out any other medical condition that may cause your dog’s symptoms. If your vet believes that an allergy is a likely cause, he/they might suggest allergy testing to determine what trigger is that triggers the reaction. But, remember that it’s not always feasible to pinpoint the root of an allergy by tests.
The elimination diet usually identifies food allergies. A food test consists of feeding a dog a unique (i.e., only one) sources of protein and sugars for 12 weeks.
Dermatitis due to fleas is often the most simple allergy to detect. It’s usually identified by observing the presence of fleas on the dog’s body or body and applying a treatment that eliminates fleas before they bite to determine if this helps solve the problem.
Treating Allergies in Dogs
The most effective way to manage an allergy is to avoid the trigger and allergen. It may or might not be feasible. However, it all depends on the type of allergy your dog has when it comes to treatment. For instance, the best treatment for dermatitis caused by fleas is eliminating the fleas. The best method for treating a food allergy or intolerance is to alter the diet.
Alongside any lifestyle modifications that might be required, your veterinarian could be able to prescribe allergy medication for relief for your pet that can help reduce the symptoms that are associated with an allergic reaction, like itching, as well as any other skin infections that could be arising because of the allergen.
If your dog is suffering from an extremely severe allergic reaction, the best option is to bring your dog to an emergency veterinary hospital as fast as possible.