What to give a dog with severe allergies

Dog food allergy treatment boils below to one underlying principle: identify foods your dog is allergic to and avoid feeding those.

«What most people ponder of as a dog food allergy is more appropriately called an cutaneous adverse food reaction, or CAFR,» says Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist. «It basically means there’s some association between a food and a certain group of symptoms—usually skin problems or gastrointestinal problems.»

In a true dog food allergy, according to Shmalberg, the culprit is often a food protein that triggers an adverse immune response, which then causes cells in the body to release histamines, or compounds that lead to itching and numerous other allergic signs.

A dog food intolerance, on the other hand, doesn’t involve an immune response—but the signs of dog food intolerance can glance beautiful similar to the signs of a food allergy.

One example is a lactose intolerance, which happens when a dog’s body just doesn’t process lactose in milk products well, leading to gastrointestinal problems (often diarrhea).

Both allergies and intolerances drop under that category of CAFRs, or, in more general terms, adverse food reactions. So, how prevalent are adverse food reactions in dogs? One 2017 research review published in BMC Veterinary Research examined just that.

The findings propose that, of dogs seeing vets for any diagnosis, 1 to 2 percent own food intolerances or allergies; among dogs with skin diseases, the number jumps up a bit, to about 6 percent. For dogs with itching and allergies, even more—about one in five—show signs of adverse food reactions.

Still, true allergies, in which the immune system is attacking a food protein, are definitely less common than food intolerances.

The takeaway, says Shmalberg, is this: «If your dog is otherwise normal, even if he’s scratching a lot, a food allergy is unlikely. That said, diet can certainly frolic a role in helping to manage skin conditions and diseases, regardless of whether or not your dog has a food allergy.» We’ll discuss more about how you can tell the difference below.

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Understand your pet allergies

It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own. You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.

If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them.

There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.

The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.

Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.

You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction).

However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.


Most Common Dog Food Allergens

Wondering what is in dog food that causes allergies? «Meat, dairy, and eggs are often thought to be the most common dog food allergens,» says Shmalberg. «Yet generally, it’s the protein part of those foods that tend to be problematic, rather than, tell, the meat itself.» Hold in mind, veggies can contain protein, so they’re not automatically safe.

That same review BMC Veterinary Research identified some of the most frequently reported dog food allergens involved in adverse food reactions.

Here’s a glance, from most-reported to least-reported.

Top Dog Food Allergens (source: BMC Veterinary Research)

Dog Food Allergen Percentage of Dogs With Reported Reaction
Beef 34%
Dairy Products 17%
Chicken 15%
Wheat 13%
Soy 6%
Lamb 5%
Corn 4%
Egg 4%
Pork 2%
Fish 2%
Rice 2%

Shmalberg calls out two significant caveats to hold in mind here.

  • Starches are safer.

    Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them. There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  • With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.
  • Look out for gelatin.

    Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.

  • Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  • Newer research is needed. Numerous of the studies out there, and those sourced in this review, are older, when dog foods were being made and processed differently than they are today. Allergies tend to change over time along with foods, and as new studies emerge, we may see diverse allergens rising to the top of the list.
  • Peanut allergies are rare in dogs.

    And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  • The more common a food is, the more likely the allergy. «For an allergy to a food to develop, a dog needs to be exposed to that food,» says Shmalberg. «That may explain why the proteins most commonly found in dog food, love beef and chicken, drop higher on the list.»
  • Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  • No two foods are exactly the same.

    There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.

  • Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them.

    There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins.

    What to give a dog with severe allergies

    Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  2. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  3. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs. And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!
  4. Look out for gelatin.

    Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.

  5. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more. It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.
  6. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  7. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response.

    But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

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More facts about dog food allergens that are helpful to know:

  1. Starches are safer. Pure carbohydrates, aka starches, are beautiful low in or free of protein, which means dogs generally aren’t allergic to them.

    There are exceptions: while potato starch is probably safe, whole potatoes might cause an allergy because they contain proteins. Same goes for higher-protein grains love corn and wheat. But overall, grain allergies are much less common than meat allergies.

  2. Watch for additives. Chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and flavorants aren’t likely to cause a true allergy, but they could trigger an adverse reaction or intolerance symptoms.
  3. Peanut allergies are rare in dogs.

    And if they do happen, they typically aren’t of the severity reported in some humans. Excellent news if your pup is one of the numerous who love a PB treat!

  4. Look out for gelatin. Supplemental oils often come in gelatin capsules, and that gelatin can trigger allergies in some dogs.
  5. Where there’s one allergy, there may be more.

    What to give a dog with severe allergies

    It’s estimated that more than a third of dogs with one food allergy are allergic to at least one additional food.

  6. No two foods are exactly the same. There’s not a excellent deal of evidence to propose that a dog who has a reaction to one food it is going to react to a similar food. That is, a dog allergic to chicken won’t necessarily be allergic to turkey.
  7. With fats, purity matters. Pure fats, love a pure fish oil, are free of protein and shouldn’t trigger a response. But traces of protein can sneak into oils and fats during processing, and in a highly allergic dog, cause issues.

  8. Food labels don’t always tell the whole tale. Some non-fresh kibble and canned foods own tested positive for proteins even when they’re not listed on the label.

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Be happy you didn’t let allergies break up a beautiful relationship

It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.

Are You Allergic to Your Pet?

Breathe Easy—You Can Still Hold Your Animal Companion!

Although numerous people own discovered the beneficial effects of caring for a furry friend, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20% of the population is allergic to animals. The result? Countless pet parents in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals. Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of every, difficulty breathing.

The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of ancient skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells.

Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. People can also become allergic to exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents. There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies. Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies. Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.

Once the diagnosis of a pet allergy is made, a physician will often recommend eliminating the companion animal from the surroundings.

Heartbreaking? Yes. Absolutely necessary? Not always. Hold in mind that most people are allergic to several things besides pets, such as dust mites, molds and pollens, every of which can be found in the home. Allergic symptoms result from the entire cumulative allergen load. That means that if you eliminate some of the other allergens, you may not own to get rid of your pet. (Conversely, should you decide to remove your pet from your home, this may not immediately solve your problems.) You must also be prepared to invest the time and effort needed to decontaminate your home environment, limit future exposure to allergens and discover a physician who will work with you.

Read on for helpful tips:

Improving the Immediate Environment

  1. Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you select to hold some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make excellent window treatments. You can also cover your furniture with sheets or blankets which you can remove and wash regularly.
  2. Dust regularly. Wiping below the walls will also cut below on allergens.
  3. Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless.

    Enquire your allergist for a product recommendation.

  4. Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s brilliant to let in some unused air daily.
  5. Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of liberty from allergens every night. It’s a excellent thought to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
  6. Clean the litter box frequently. Use low-dust, perfume-free filler.

    Clumping litter is a excellent choice.

  7. Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag. Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.
  8. Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.


Decontaminating Your Pet

  1. Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won’t dry out his skin.

    Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.

  2. Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal. Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
  3. Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment.

    What to give a dog with severe allergies

    Enquire your veterinarian to propose one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.

  4. Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible. (The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make certain your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)


Taking Care of Yourself

  1. If possible, own someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing.

    If you must clean the home or change the litter, be certain to wear a dust mask.

  2. Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes. Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.
  3. Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face. The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
  4. Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make certain that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will assist alleviate your symptoms.

    Medications and immunotherapy (desensitizing shots) can often permit you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.

It can be terribly upsetting to study that your kid is allergic to your family pet — but it’s not unusual. Up to 30 percent of people with allergies own allergic reactions to cats and dogs, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Contrary to favorite belief, it’s not the pets’ hair that makes a kid sneeze and wheeze. It’s the proteins found in their urine, saliva, or pet dander, according to the AAFA. The proteins can stick to surfaces of walls, furniture, and clothing and stay there, at full strength, for a endless time.

A pet also can bring other allergens, such as pollen, into your home.

“The first law of allergies is, if you’re allergic to something, stay away from it,” says Mark Holbreich, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Indianapolis. When it’s your pet, though, that’s hard to do. But if the allergies are severe, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, you may own to discover your pet a new home.

Symptoms of children’s pet allergies include a stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, and wheezing.

Some people can own an asthma attack if their allergies flare, the AAFA says. If your kid experiences these symptoms after coming in contact with your dog or cat, own your kid tested.

“Testing is extremely important,” says Mervat Nassef, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City. If you might own to give up your pet, you desire to be certain that your kid isn’t allergic to something else. “Other allergies can give you similar symptoms,” Dr. Nassef says.

It’s also significant to note that some animals may be more allergy-friendly than others. However, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology.

What to give a dog with severe allergies

“Small dogs that don’t shed produce less dander, but your kid still can be allergic to them,” Dr. Holbreich says.


Strategies to Reduce Pet Allergies

If your child’s allergies aren’t too severe, you may be capable to take some steps to reduce your child’s symptoms and hold your pet. For instance:

Keep pets out of the bedroom. Make your child’s room a pet-free zone and be certain to hold it clean. To hold the room pet dander- and pollen-free, install a high-efficiency air filter and air purifier. Remember to change the filters frequently.

Cover your child’s bed with additional protection.

You can purchase dust mite covers for your child’s pillow, blanket, and mattress. This will also assist hold out dust mites, another potential allergy trigger, in addition to allergens love pet dander.

Go for hard surfaces. Where you can, replace upholstered surfaces with non-fabric or easily washable materials. Pet dander sticks to upholstery, drapes, curtains, and carpeting more easily than it does to surfaces such as wood, vinyl, or tile.

Plus, the latter are easier to clean. For this reason, you also shouldn’t let your allergic kid sleep with stuffed animals, Dr. Nassef adds. If you must own carpet in your child’s bedroom or elsewhere in your home, select a low-pile one and own it steam-cleaned regularly.

Bathe your pet weekly. Weekly baths can significantly reduce the quantity of allergy-causing dander your pet sheds. If possible, enquire a non-allergic member of your household to bathe the pet and be certain to wash that person’s clothes afterward. Wearing gloves may also assist. Enquire your veterinarian to recommend the best soaps and shampoos. Caution: Bathing too frequently can own the opposite effect.

It can dry your pet’s skin and cause the animal to shed more dander.

Teach your kid to wash his hands with soap and water after touching the pet. Washing helps prevent the spread of allergens to your child’s nose, eyes, and mouth — which is especially significant if your kid gets a rash from having been licked by your pet, Nassef says.

Talk to your allergist about treatment. “Medications work for allergy symptoms regardless of the trigger — pollen, pet dander, etc.,” Nassef says. “But not every medications work equally well for every symptoms.” That’s why it’s significant to work with your doctor and tailor your child’s allergy medications to his or her symptoms.

Consult your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian can recommend a diet for your pet that’s wealthy in vitamins and minerals, which can assist your pet’s skin retain its moisture and not shed as much. Love people, pets can benefit from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, according to the Partnership for Animal Welfare in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Every family has to decide for themselves whether they can manage their children’s pet allergies with a cat or dog, Nassef says. “The best solution for pet allergies is to not own a pet,» she says, «but numerous people consider pets part of their family and getting rid of the pet is out of the question.”

Last Updated:8/7/2017

One of the most common medical complaints that we see in our office is dogs with skin infections, “hot spots”, or allergic dermatitis, also known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis.

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems.

This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs. These problems may range from poor jacket texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to boiling spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also frolic a part in chronic ear infections. The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin. To make matters more hard to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, an “allergen”.

Most dogs start to show their allergic signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds, including Golden Retrievers, most terriers, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Ancient English Sheep dogs are more commonly atopic, but numerous dogs, including mixed breed dogs can own atopic dermatitis. Atopic animals will generally rub, lick, chew, bite, or scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin. The skin itself may be dry and crusty or oily depending upon the dog.

Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and boiling. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarian’s approach needs to be thorough and systematic. Shortcuts generally will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies
Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds.

A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to glance at the timing of the reaction. Does it happen year round? This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Food Allergies
Numerous people don’t suspect food allergies as the cause of their dog’s itching because their pet has been fed the same food every its life and has just recently started having symptoms. However, animals can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not law out food allergies. Another common misconception is that dogs are only sensitive to poor quality food.

If the dog is allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t matter whether it is in premium food or the most inexpensive brand on the market. One advantage to premium foods is that some avoid common fillers that are often implicated in allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies
This type of reaction generally is not to the flea itself, but rather to proteins in its saliva. Interestingly enough, the dogs most prone to this problem are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally! A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to own a miserable dog.

Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity
Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to the normal Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria on its skin.

It appears that bacterial hypersensitivity in the dog is more likely to happen if other conditions such as hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are concurrently present. Bacterial hypersensitivity is diagnosed through bacterial culture and examination of a biopsy sample. Microscopically, there are certain unique changes in the blood vessels of the skin in bacterial hypersensitivity.

Diagnosis

Allergy testing is the best diagnostic tool and the best road to treatment for dogs that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies. There are several diverse testing methods available. The most common is a blood test that checks for antigen induced antibodies in the dog’s blood.

Intradermal skin testing may also be performed. In this method of testing, a little quantity of antigen is injected into a shaved portion of the dog’s skin. This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a little raised reaction, the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction. Allergy testing is performed to develop a specific therapy for the allergic animal.

Treatment

Medicated Baths
Numerous medicated shampoos own compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation.

In addition, frequent bathing (weekly to every other week) of the dog can remove allergens from the hair jacket, which may contribute to skin allergy flare-ups. The medicated baths we recommend are those that actually contain antimicrobial and antifungal agents as well as ingredients that permit the skin to be bathed on a more frequent basis without drying it out. Application of a rinse afterwards also helps to prevent drying out of the skin and hair coat.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines can be used with excellent safety in dogs.

About one third of owners report success with antihistamines. These medications tend to own a variable effect between dogs. For some allergic dogs, antihistamines work extremely well in controlling symptoms of allergic skin disease. For other dogs, extremely little effect is seen. Therefore, a minimum of three diverse types of antihistamines should be tried before owners give up on this therapy. Examples of antihistamines commonly used for dogs include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Clemastine. However, antihistamines are considered to be worth trying in most cases since the side effects associated with antihistamines is low, and they are typically inexpensive medications.

Antibiotics and Antifungal Medications
Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat secondary skin infections.

Anti-fungal medications are frequently needed to treat secondary yeast infections.

Flea Control
For dogs with this problem, a strict flea control regime must be maintained. The best flea control options include the use of products such as Advantage, Revolution, Frontline, Comfortis, and Sentinel.

Supplements
The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin. These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. They reportedly are helpful in 20% of allergic dogs. My own experience puts this figure a little higher.

They are certainly worth a attempt because they are not harmful and own virtually no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). These supplements are diverse from those sold to produce a glossy jacket. Products that contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include Allergen Caps and Halo.

Hypoallergenic Diets
Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before.

As mentioned previously, the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic to is through diagnostic allergy testing. As dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for 80% of food allergies in dogs, these items should be avoided. Novel protein sources used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and types of fish not generally found in pet food. Carbohydrate sources include potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

Hydrolyzed protein diets are diets in which the protein source has been synthetically reduced to little fragments.

The theory behind feeding a hydrolyzed protein source is that the proteins in the food should be little enough that the allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the protein fragments and will not mount an immune response resulting in an allergy.

Most pets with food allergies reply well when switched to a store-bought hypoallergenic diet, but occasionally an animal suffers from such extreme allergies that a homemade diet is the only option. In this case, the diet should be customized with the aid of a veterinarian.

Corticosteroids and Immunosuppressive Agents
Cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone reduce itching by reducing inflammation.

These medications are not without side effects, so they need to be used judiciously in treating skin allergies. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short, the quantity of drug required is little, or to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort. Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, and behavioral changes. Long-term use can result in diabetes and decreased resistance to infection. In some dogs, endless term, low-dose alternate day therapy is the only management protocol that successfully controls the atopic pet. This protocol should be used only as a final resort after every other methods own been exhausted to avoid the potential long-term complications of the medication.

Cyclosporine (Atopica) is a medication, which seems to be fairly effective at reducing the inflammation associated with skin allergies and calming the immune system of the affected dog.

However, the pricing of cyclosporine may be prohibitive for larger breed dogs.

Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Allergy shots are extremely safe, and numerous people own grand success with them; however, they are extremely slow to work. It may be six to twelve months before improvement is seen. Once the allergens for the dog are identified, an appropriate immunotherapy is manufactured for that specific dog, and treatment can start. After the offending antigens are identified, then a mixture of these antigens can be formulated into a hyposensitizing injection. Depending on the type of agents used, these injections will be given over a period of weeks to months until the dog or cat develops immunity to the agents.

After initial protection, an occasional booster may own to be given.

Environmental Control
If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control. Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your home plants. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Air conditioning can also reduce circulating amounts of airborne allergens because windows are then kept closed.

Thyroid Medication
Healthy skin and a normal hair jacket are the results of numerous factors, both external and internal.

There are several glands in the body responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for the regulation of other body functions as well as a normal skin surface and hair jacket. Hypothyroidism may result in poor skin and hair jacket, including hair loss or abnormal hair turnover, dull or brittle hair, altered pigmentation, and oily or dry skin. A blood test is a simplest and most direct way to tell if your dog is hypothyroid. Thyroid testing may include every or part of the following:

Baseline T4 Test or Entire T4 (TT4): This is the most common test.

Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will own a lowered level of the T4 hormone. However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. In combination with the T4 or T3 test, it provides a more finish picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less precise than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more precise data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream.

This test is not dependable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected. This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine).

Blood samples will need to be drawn periodically to assess the effectiveness of the dosage and make any adjustments necessary.

Successful management of the atopic, allergic dog is sometimes complicated and frustrating because multi-modal management is necessary in the majority of cases to control the allergic flare-ups. Proper diagnosis by a veterinarian and owner compliance and follow up care is essential to maximize the chances of curing or at least controlling the severely affected allergy patient.



Picture this: Your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and biting fur, and you can’t figure out why.

Maybe you’ve tried everything from changing grooming routines to special shampoos, to medications. But own you tried changing your dog’s diet?

Food is one culprit behind allergic reactions in dogs that owners often overlook. In fact, there are dog food allergies and dog food intolerances. Just love us, canines can suffer from either or both. And food allergies in dogs can cause not only digestive problems love vomiting and diarrhea, but also skin issues, and even behavioral problems.

If you or your vet suspect your pup may own be having an adverse reaction to certain foods, and you’re wondering what it every means, you’re in the correct place.

We talked to Dr. Justin Shmalberg, a DVM and NomNomNow’s own veterinary nutritionist, to collect what you need to know. We’ll cover the following:


Reduce the allergens and your symptoms

If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.

If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:

1.

Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.

2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors.

What to give a dog with severe allergies

Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.

3. Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens.

What to give a dog with severe allergies

Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.

4. Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander. Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen.

What to give a dog with severe allergies

Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.

5. Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.


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