Allergies in dogs are of various types, and symptoms can vary due to a wide array of factors. However, one thing that we can agree on is that in the course of experiencing allergies, dogs suffer a great deal. To help with this, we’ve come up with a concise list of allergies; their causes, symptoms, and how we can embark on treating allergies in dogs. Take a look below:
Skin allergies are by far the most typical type of allergies that can affect dogs. In general, there are three types of skin allergies in dogs
- Flea allergies
- Environmental irritant
- Food allergies
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The flea allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs due to bites from fleas (as the name goes). Some dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas, and they become very itchy when they contact if the itch is usually concentrated at the base of the tail and it is possible for the dog’s body to become red, scabbed, and inflamed. You can even see flea signs like flea dirt, or even the fleas themselves.
Itchy skin can also be caused by food allergies. Dogs with food allergies are known to itch their ears and paws the most.
Dust, mold, pollen, and much more are environmental allergens. They can cause atopic reactions. These allergens are usually seasonal, so your dog might only itch during certain seasons of the year. Most dogs infected by environmental allergens also mostly itch their ears and paws, but other areas include wrists, muzzles, between the toes, and around the eyes.
The risk of secondary infection is a constant threat when dealing with skin allergies. The more your dog scratches, bites, and licks the skin, the more it risks opening the skin to bacterial infection. When this happens, treatment will be a wise option.
Food allergies might not be as common as we think. True food allergies cause immune responses, ranging from skin conditions (such as swelling, itchiness, and hives), gastrointestinal reactions (diarrhea and vomiting) or maybe even both at the same time.
Most times, people mistake food sensitivities for food allergies. Making it even hard treating allergies in dogs, However, unlike true food allergies, food sensitivities don’t involve immune responses. Instead, they are gradual responses to unfamiliar or offending ingredients in a dog’s meal.
Several symptoms of dogs with food sensitivities include gastrointestinal signs or dermatological signs (such as poor skin or coat, chronic foot or ear infections)
Beware of Acute Allergic Reactions!
These reactions are usually very alarming. Dogs can go into anaphylactic shock if an allergen provides a very severe effect (just like humans). If not treated, this can prove to be very fatal.
Treating Allergies in Dogs
Avoidance is the best way to treat an allergy in a dog. However, it’s understandable that this may not always be possible. Regardless, your treatment method depends on the allergy your dog has.
For food allergies, you can get Corticosteroids to reduce swelling and Antihistamines to reduce itching. In order to easily determine the offending ingredient, make sure to complete the elimination diet before these meds are applied. You can also see a few skin infections, but the problem can be combated by Antibiotics.
Skin allergies will require medical treatment. However, you can abate the problem by giving your dog a cold bath with Epsom salt or baking soda. Add oatmeal to 2 quarts of water and let it boil for 10 minutes. Once it cools, strain the solid oatmeal out. After bathing your pet, rinse it with the remaining liquid from the mixture. You can also give a little comfort by adding diluted apple cider vinegar, but make sure to apply it using a soft towel.
Olive oil can also help dogs cope better with allergies. You can put a few tablespoons of olive oil in your dog’s food and it should be fine
Apart from necessary lifestyle changes, you can also get a prescription that will help you deal with an allergy from a vet.