What to do when your dog has flea allergies
- Allergiesare generallya lifelong disease requiring continuous, hands-on management
- There will be some quantity of expense involved in managing an allergypet throughout its life
- All dogs with allergies own occasional flare-ups which will require a visit to the vet
- No single treatment for allergic dermatitis is perfect and often several modalities such as medications, shampoos etc are needed to assist a pet
- Dogs with allergiesare at increased risk of bacterial and/or yeast infections
Dog Allergy Symptoms
While not generally life threatening, allergies in dogs do cause discomfort.
Most symptoms are associated with skinproblems but some can also lead to gastrointestinal or breathingissues in some dogs.Sometimes an owner will bring their dog to a veterinary appointment, suspecting a serious medical condition and finish up finding out that their canine companion has an allergy.
Here are some allergy symptoms commonly found in dogs:
- Excessive licking
- Odor coming from the skin or ears
- Frequent shaking of the head
- Red itchy bumps
- Skin irritation
- Compulsive scratching or rubbing
- Regularly rubbing body or body parts against the ground, walls, furniture, etc.
- Runny eyes or nose
- Inflamed or uncomfortable ears
- Hair loss
- Periodic chewing on the same or diverse body parts or areas
- Frequent sneezing and/or wheezing
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Most environmental allergies develop in the second year of life for dogs.
During the first year, a dog will be exposed to numerous types of allergens primarily through contact with the skin.
A smaller number of allergies may be caused by food (usually the protein source) and inhalant (things they breathe in that are in the air). In the second year of life, the dog’s immune system will overreact to the antigen(s) causing release of immune cells which release inflammatory substances ( such as histamine) which lead to symptoms of itching. Rarely is a dog allergic to just one thing. Most allergic dogs are born with a less than optimal skin barrier which allows for antigens to enter the skin more easily.
Dogs that suffer from allergies own abnormal skin and a less than optimal immune response which allows for secondary infections to happen. Typically, dogs do not suffer from a single allergy, but instead, dogs with sensitivities to allergens own numerous sensitivities. You must understand that dog allergies are due to a complicated set of issues that tends to change as the dog’s environment changes.
Because these symptoms can own several possible causes, we recommend making an appointment immediately to speak with one of our veterinarians if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms.
Early diagnosis and treatment of dog allergies not only increases the likelihood of your dog’s treatment being successful, but can also be less expensive than delaying treatment. The longer you wait, the more your dog suffers and more severe the secondary infections can become.
A food allergy is the most likely cause of allergic symptoms in animals under 1 year of age.
Food allergy symptoms can manifest in your pet as:
- Ear Infection or inflammation
- Generalized to severe itching
- Excessive feet licking
- Vomiting and diarrhea in some cases.
Other clues your pet may be suffering from food allergies include year-round symptoms and poor responses to steroids.
Food-induced allergic hypersensitivity cannot be treated by immunotherapy, therefore, avoidance and elimination diets are the only form of treatment for your pet’s food allergy. If your pet test positive to specific foods, then we will provide your veterinarian with a list of commercial diets free of those ingredients to which your pet has tested positive.
There Are Two Main Types Of Dog Allergy Testing
Blood Testing and Intradermal Skin Testing. Each type of canine allergy testing is differentand has its benefits and drawbacks.
However testing should come after examination for other potential causes and irritators, including:
- Fungal or yeast infections of the skin (common secondary invaders)
- Chronic bacterial infections (common secondary invaders)
A veterinarian might also order a 12 week hypoallergenic diet to law out a food allergy. Food allergies are hard to detect using either dog allergy testing method, and therefore should be sure through dietary manipulation.
Once every of these possibilities are ruled out, the veterinarian will order either a blood or skin test to determine the presence of dog allergies.
DOG BREEDS WITH A PREDISPOSITION FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS:
- Boston Terrier
- English Bulldog
- Labrador Retriever
- West Highland White Terrier
- Wirehaired Fox Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Bull Terrier
- Lhasa Apso
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- Irish Setter
- German Shepherd
- Scottish Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Jack Russell Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Cairn Terrier
- Golden Retriever
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Shih Tzu
- English Setter
- Yorkshire Terrier
What Causes A Dog To Develop Allergies?
Think of dogs skin love saran wrap.
It covers and protects the dog. However, dogs with allergies are born with abnormal skin (like holes in the saran wrap). These abnormalities in the skin permit for the allergens, which are normal in every environments, to enter thru the skin layer and set off an allergic response which causes itching and redness. So, it is significant to understand that dogs who suffer from contact allergies do not own normal skin. Additionally, these dogs do not own a healthy immune response.
In addition, this inflammation in the skin will change the health of the skin and permit for secondary invaders such as bacteria and yeast to enter the dog’s system.
In addition, numerous of these dogs own a less than optimal local immune response to these secondary invaders making them more susceptible to yeast and bacterial infections. Yeast and bacteria are always present in low numbers on every dog’s skin. Unfortunately for dogs with allergies, their skin and immune response are inadequate to fight off these secondary invaders.
Dog Allergy Testing
The first step to determining the cause of your dog’s symptoms is a thorough exam by a veterinarian. In addition to looking for external skin parasites such as fleas and mites, your veterinarian will desire to do some diagnostics to assist him/her determine what types of infections may be present.
After diagnosing and treating for external parasites and infections, your veterinarian may discuss blood work and recommend allergy testing. There are numerous potential causes for allergies in your dog. Dog allergens drop into the following groups:
- Contact allergy — including numerous grasses and plants, dust mites and molds
- Flea allergies — numerous dogs are highly allergic to flea bites
- Food allergies — including diverse types of proteins
- Inhalant allergy— allergens that are inhaled