Allergies in dogs, like humans and other animals, occur when the immune system overreacts to a perceived threat. It may be difficult to detect and treat, but allergies can cause serious illness in dogs. Here are some facts about canine allergies that every owner should know.
What Cause Allergies in Dogs?
Allergens may be inhaled or ingested through your dog’s food, insect bites, pollen particles landing on her coat, or even from lying down in a particular place. When your dog is exposed to an allergen, the body releases histamines as part of its immune response.
Histamine is a naturally occurring chemical in your body, but too much can cause you to feel flushed and have headaches. Depending on where the allergen is introduced and how severe that introduction is, a dog’s body can react in many ways.
Any breed of dog can be allergic to anything, and allergies often run in families. When choosing a puppy from a breeder, you should always ask about the health history of that animal’s parents. Allergies can develop in your dog at any age, although they often appear when she’s a young adult. And if that weren’t bad enough, your pet can be allergic to more than one thing.
What are the Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
Dog allergies may cause skin, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Inflammation and itching
- Chronic cough
- Runny eyes
- Irritated, crimson skin
- Licking at paws
- Persistent ear infections
- Persistent paw infections
- Itchy rash on the animal’s hindquarters
- Wiping face
- Loss of hairs
These symptoms can all be caused by various illnesses and conditions that affect dogs, so it is essential to work with your pet doctor to get a diagnosis.
Diagnosis for dog Allergies
An allergy test may be conducted depending on what your dog is having and what the veterinarian feels might be causing those symptoms.
Intradermal skin tests, blood tests, and elimination diet trials are the three most common methods of dog allergy testing.
Intradermal testing injects tiny quantities of allergens under your dog’s skin and observes his response. This information is then utilized to formulate a serum that will desensitize her to her allergen triggers.
Blood tests entail extracting blood from the arm and analyzing it in a lab or at-home kit; they are less intrusive than skin-test kits but can be less accurate.
Elimination diets are the most accurate method for diagnosing food sensitivities. This procedure entails feeding your dog a diet containing novel substances for eight to twelve weeks, followed by a gradual reintroduction of foods while closely evaluating her skin’s reaction.
Treatment of Dog Allergies and Prevention
If you suspect your dog is allergic to something, eliminating that substance from her diet is the best way to find out. Luckily, there are some options for allergy medicine for dogs. Other strategies include:
Treatment of Flea allergies
Treatment for a flea allergy is easier than curing the condition. You can treat your dog with a flea repellent, but you will need to apply this all year long for ongoing protection.
All other pets in your household should also be on regular flea preventives to keep the house free of fleas. One bite is all it can take for a dog with an allergy to break an itchy rash.
Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis
Immunotherapy, often known as allergy injections for dogs, uses the findings of an allergy test to generate a serum containing allergens specific to your dog. This therapy desensitizes your pet to allergens by progressively increasing its exposure to them in small doses (as tolerated).
The injections will be administered according to a timetable to gradually alter your dog’s immune system so that she no longer has an allergy. Recent research indicated that fifty percent of immunotherapy-treated dogs saw considerable development in their symptoms, and seventy-five percent required less medication after treatment.
To alleviate severe symptoms, corticosteroids like prednisone may be utilized. However, they have the potential for significant adverse effects; therefore, they are often employed as a temporary measure until a more permanent therapy takes effect. Many dogs respond favorably to long-term, low-dose prednisone treatment.
Apoquel (oclacitinib), an antihistamine, is safe for dogs. Consult your veterinarian on the appropriate dosage according to the size and severity of the issue.
Injections of Cytopoint attach to molecules that carry itching impulses to the brain. As a consequence, each injection can provide relief from pruritus for up to four months.
Reduce exposure to inhalable or ingestible pollen and other plant components. You may use an unscented dryer sheet to remove pollen from your dog’s coat and paws after walks, or if she tolerates it, you can also vacuum her.
Similarly, baths can bring relief. Consult your veterinarian on the appropriate shampoo for your dog; many shampoos are made particularly to treat secondary skin diseases. In contrast, others will aid in the total restoration of normal skin health.
Shampoos containing medications can heal dry and irritated skin. Avoid washing him too frequently to prevent the drying effects of certain shampoos from leaving your dog’s skin more prone to irritation or illness. Supplements containing fatty acids benefit the skin by supporting healthy cell membrane function.
Treatment for Respiratory Allergy
Corticosteroids and immunotherapy treat atopic dermatitides and may also benefit dogs with respiratory system allergies, including signs such as allergic bronchitis. If your dog is coughing excessively, your veterinarian may prescribe a cough suppressant to help her inflamed throat recover.
Treatment for Food Allergy
For an allergic dog, avoiding specific foods may be a sufficient treatment. If you adhere to your dog’s diet, its allergy problems will disappear. In addition, fatty acid supplements and probiotics may be helpful.
Our Allergy Chews are here to help. We know how hard it is to watch your dog suffer from seasonal allergies, but we also know that it’s not worth giving up on him just because he’s uncomfortable. That’s why we’ve made our chews with a blend of ingredients that support a typical histamine response to external stimuli. Our Dog Immune Booster chews contain a combination of active ingredients to support the immune system and help normalize digestion and detoxification.
You can give your dog the best allergy treatments at home to prevent and treat any allergies they might have. You should also see a veterinarian if you notice any other symptoms from the allergy treatment, such as vomiting or diarrhea.