Allergies can be as severe in dogs as they are in humans. Dogs over six months of age are most susceptible to allergies. Dogs that are repeatedly exposed to an allergen become sensitive to it. The immune system then reacts in a way that causes skin irritation. Itching, redness, hair loss, and skin irritations can all be signs of irritation. It can be widespread (all over the skin) or specific (in a few areas only). Dogs may be more likely to scratch and lick at the affected area, which can further exacerbate the problem.
Other signs that you may have allergies include sneezing and wheezing, coughing, ocular or nasal discharge, vomiting and diarrhea.
Although it is possible to determine the source of the allergic reaction, it is better to get the attention of a veterinarian in order to find the best possible treatment. Veterinarians often use a serum allergy test and a skin allergy test to determine the allergens that the dog is allergic to. To relieve clinical signs, veterinarians might recommend Zyrtec or Benadryl over-the-counter without an added decongestant. Allergy immunotherapy may be recommended if the allergy is severe.
Dogs can be affected by a variety of allergies. These allergies can be either gut-induced or skin-induced.
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Allergies caused by the gut
Food allergies or gut-induced allergies are a common problem. These allergies can be caused by an allergic reaction to preservatives and artificial coloring in commercial dog food, or by the intact protein source in the food. Commonly irritable protein sources include chicken, turkey, soy and chicken.
Itchy skin, itchy eyes, vomiting, diarrhea and swelling are all signs of gut-induced allergy.
Foods that are not made from these proteins can be beneficial for dogs with food sensitivities. A novel protein is any protein that is not found in common dog food such as bison, rabbit, elk. Hypoallergenic dog food diets are dominated by novel protein diets.
Allergies to the skin
Flea allergy dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatologitis is caused by the bite from a flea. Flea saliva is injected into the dog’s feeding site and triggers an immune reaction. The dog may experience redness and pruritus. This can cause the dog to scratch, bite and lick certain parts of their body, including the abdomen, head, and base of the tail. It may be soothing for a dog to soak in cool water and use a flea shampoo. Depending on the severity of the problem, antibiotics may be necessary if the dog has self-mutilated itself by chewing or scratching.
A heightened immune response to natural bacteria, such as Staphylococcus bacteria, can cause Bacterial Hypersensitivity. You may notice red blotches and pus pockets as well as hair loss. Epidermal collarettes are a form of ringworm-like skin. Most often, bacterial allergies are secondary problems to other conditions, such as parasitism and hormonal disorders.
The most common form of allergy is contact allergies. This happens when the allergen is in direct contact. Contact allergies can be very similar to flea allergies. They cause skin irritation and itching at the site of contact. The sources of allergens include synthetic materials found in bedding, plants and pesticides. Usually, the only solution to the problem is to remove the allergen source.
Allergies caused by the respiratory system
Atopy can also be known as “inhalant allergy”. Atopic dermatitis is the term for it. It causes skin irritations such as itching, biting and hair loss. You may also notice the presence of small bumps or pustules. These are tiny pimple-like lesion like lesions. Atopy, which is a genetic condition that causes dogs to react to tree, grass, weed, and mold pollens as well as other chemical irritants such common household products, can also cause them to have a reaction to mildew and pimple-like lesions. Multiple allergens can cause allergic reactions in dogs. They may also have food or flea allergies. Some breeds such as the Golden Retrievers and Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos Dalmatians Bulldogs and Old English Sheepdogs are more susceptible to atopic dermatology.
Special shampoos, oral steroids, prescribed cyclosporines and natural remedies like the administration of omega-3 fat acids are some possible treatments.