If your dog is experiencing allergy issues, you may observe excessive itching and scratching, red and watery eyes, sneezing or runny nose, vomiting or diarrhea, and a variety of other symptoms.
Dogs are allergic to many of the same things that humans are including pollen, mites, fleas, detergents, and some food ingredients.
Allergies in dogs may be diagnosed with food trials, blood tests, and skin tests.
Allergies are managed rather than cured with flea prevention, lifestyle adjustments, symptom management, and weekly allergy shot therapy to build your dog's tolerance to allergens.
If your dog has allergies, they may scratch and lick their skin every hour of the day and even wake you up at night. Perhaps, you've also observed signs of intestinal discomfort or typical allergy symptoms in your dog. While these types of allergy reactions are mild, it's best to determine the source of your dog's allergy issues before itchy spots become open wounds and runny noses become respiratory infections. Here's what you need to know about managing your dog's allergic condition.
Allergies are a result of an overreaction of your dog's immune system to harmless substances in the environment such as dust, pollen, fleas, or certain food ingredients. Your dog's immune system is wired to respond to pathogens like viruses, bacteria, or fungi. When there is an aggressive response to non-pathogenic substances, that reaction is referred to as an allergy.
During an allergic reaction, histamine is released causing inflammation. The most typical allergy signs in dogs are as follows:
The most serious sign of an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that manifests as facial swelling, difficulty breathing, sudden diarrhea or vomiting, and collapse. Fortunately, this condition is rare in dogs, but if you notice these signs in your pet, take them to the vet immediately.
Not all allergic dogs experience the same symptoms. Mild to severe symptoms are possible and may impact different parts of the body. Your dog may be hypersensitive to a wide range of allergies. Some dogs may only have one sort of allergy, while others may have several. The most typical dog allergies are:
Most allergies are hereditary or genetic in nature. Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Peis, Retriever and Terrier Breeds, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos are a few dog breeds that may be more prone to allergies. However, any breed of dog can be affected. If your dog is predisposed to allergies, they manifest between 6 months and 3 years old. Canine allergies may change with the seasons or if your dog moves to another region.
Testing for allergies takes time. Your veterinarian will start by eliminating any medical or emotional disorders that could result in comparable symptoms. For instance, microscopic skin mites can create sensations on the skin that resemble allergies, yet some allergy therapies can actually make skin mites worse. Additionally, like some people chew their fingernails, an anxious or bored dog could lick or chew their skin.
The following are typical next steps if allergies are suspected:
These tests are frequently tailored to include allergens unique to your dog's region, state, or city.
Keep in mind that treating allergies means managing them, not curing them. You may set reasonable expectations, prevent disappointment, and develop the best long-term management strategy by keeping this objective in mind. Managing your dog's allergies may include actions such as:
Your dog's allergies can be frustrating for both you and your dog. Fortunately, you can make your dog feel better so they are able to enjoy all their favorite activities with you, itch-free, by being patient, vigilant, and following your veterinarian's instructions.