Staying Healthy

Signs that Your Dog May Have Allergies

The most widespread allergy symptom that dogs manifest is scratching. Because constant scratching can result in open sores, raised welts, and even loss of hair, dog owners have to be careful when it comes to feeding and exposing their pets. Dog owners have to educate themselves about the symptoms and treatment options of dog allergy in order to keep their best friend as comfortable as possible.
Understanding the Basics
There are several types of allergies: the airborne, food, flea, and contact. All dogs are prone to one or a combination of these allergies. It usually affects them when they are a couple years of age; though some cases report that even dogs as young as five months have already suffered from it. Dogs that have been affected by allergies frequently suffer all throughout their lives, and the symptoms usually become worse as they age.
Common Allergy Symptoms
You should suspect your dog is having allergies if he relentlessly:

1.       Scratches his ears
2.      Licks or chews his feet or other parts of body
3.      Rubs his face against the floor or furniture
4.      Sneezes or has a runny nose
5.      Vomits or has diarrhea
6.     Coughs or wheezes
7.     Has a rash, pimples, bumps, or open sores
8.     Has a reddish hair discoloration on the paws or between his toes
9.     Has red or watery eyes
10.   Has ear infections

Diagnosing Dog Allergies

Once you suspect your dog is suffering from allergies, you should immediately see your vet. Veterinarians will oftentimes make a preliminary diagnosis as well as treatment plan based on several data. These include the season of the year when the dog manifest the most allergy symptoms, the specific body locations that are found to be the most itchy, and the response of the itches to particular medications such as shampoos, steroids, and antihistamines.

If the initial treatment plan does not offer your dog relief, your vet will likely recommend a more specific allergy testing. This procedure is commonly done either by taking a blood test or by performing intra-dermal skin testing. The blood tests are reliable for airborne allergy detection, but not as good when it comes to identifying food or contact allergies. Skin tests, nonetheless, are considered to be more accurate as it involves shaving a small patch of hair on the dog’s side, and then injecting a minimal amount of allergens underneath his skin.

Just like people, dogs can be allergic to a wide range of things like pollen and grasses, certain foods, even cats! Working closely with your vet to diagnose an allergy and treat it will make your dog much more comfortable.




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