If the dog is suffering from constant itching and wouldn’t let its owners sleep at night clawing at its skin, most likely it is an allergy. The dog’s immune system often reacts to certain factors, as a result, are unpleasant conditions such as pruritus, skin redness, tearing or running nose. In case of an advanced stage of a disease, bloody ulcers, boils, chronic ear infections and other serious problems may arise. Skin manifestations are only the top of the iceberg, as the main process goes on inside.
Types of Allergies and Their Effects
The reaction of an immunity system to foreign elements leads to transformation of the body’s own proteins. If the body cannot adjust to them, it reacts dramatically. A protective reaction to an allergy-causing agent is production of defensive protein against the structure of the antigen. Allergies affect dogs of any breed, age, sex, coat color, although it is believed that animals with weak pigmentation have a greater predisposition to allergic reactions. Allergens may infiltrate the body of an animal in various ways. These are main groups of allergens:
- canine cosmetics;
- household chemicals;
- parasites, insects;
- infectious on fungi, bacteria, viruses;
- plants, pollen.
Food allergy is one of the most common types. These products often act as triggers: chicken eggs; meat (beef, poultry); all dairy products; soy; corn; yeast products; seafood wheat. Do not feed your dog with too salty or too sweet foods. Chocolate, sweets, pastries, smoked foods should be once-for-all-time excluded from the pet’s diet. There are many different components in the processed feed, and some of them eventually cause severe allergies.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
The main symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Redness of ear;
- Itching and biting;
- Frequent scratching of ear:
- Loss of hair in places of scratching;
- Rashes, blisters, ulcers, boils;
- Red eyes;
- Asthmatic breathing;
- Runny nose;
- Abdominal cramps and frequent flatulence, diarrhea.
The symptoms may appear in a matter of hours or after several days. An accurate diagnosis can only be determined by a veterinarian after conducting allergy tests. Skin allergy is manifested by dermatitis, which means itching; severe dandruff; exacerbations in the hot season.
Flea dermatitis or reaction to insect bites is accompanied by intense itching, skin irritation, profuse skin rashes, otitis, accompanied by discharge from the ears, focal hair loss and even purulent wounds. Such symptoms in a dog as rubbing its eyes with paws, sneezing, panting and laboring breath, and excessive nose fluids sometimes indicate bronchial asthma. The allergic reaction to household chemicals and cosmetics is accompanied by an itchy rash, redness of skin, and in difficult cases, edema, eczema or blistering.
Allergy is very individual; therefore a visit to a specialist (an immunologist, an allergist, a dermatologist) is imperative in this case. The cause of the disease is determined by exclusion of risk group products from the pet’s diet, as well as medications and canine cosmetics. The material for laboratory testing includes scrapings, special scotches, blood tests.
How to Treat Allergies in Dogs?
The allergy treatment always includes three stages:
- Determining the cause.
- Prescribing antihistamines.
- Enhancing animal’s immunity system.
Most cases of allergic reactions can be effectively prevented if the pet’s is following these simple guidelines:
- do not feed your dog with potentially allergenic foods;
- Regularly carry worming of the pet;
- use only hypoallergenic cosmetics specially adapted for dogs when taking care of the animal’s coat;
- keep all the household chemicals away from the animal’s reach;
- regularly inspect and clean the dog’s ears.
To all this, you can add frequent walks and active games in the air and use of environmentally clean materials and products.