Allergies in Dogs: Understanding and Treating Them
Dogs are prone to allergies just like people are. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, allergies are one of the most common health problems in dogs. Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, including itchiness, red eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. They can also cause skin problems, such as hot spots, hair loss, and rashes.
There are three main types of allergies that affect dogs: food allergies, inhalant allergies, and contact allergies.
Food allergies are caused by an immune reaction to a food protein. They are the second most common type of allergy in dogs, after inhalant allergies. The most common signs of food allergies in dogs are itchy skin and ear infections. Other signs can include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Most dogs with food allergies are allergic to proteins found in beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, lamb, or soy. Some dogs may be allergic to multiple proteins. Irritated skin may lead to excessive shedding in your dog, and if this is the case, we recommend protecting the interior of your vehicle with a custom cargo liner like Ruff Rugs to protect from their hair sticking to the carpet.
Inhalant allergies, also called atopic dermatitis, are the most common type of allergy in dogs. They are caused by an immune reaction to airborne allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust, or dander. The most common signs of inhalant allergies in dogs are itchy skin and ear infections. Other signs can include sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. Dogs with inhalant allergies are often allergic to multiple airborne allergens. The most common allergens include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds; mold; and dust mites.
Contact allergies are caused by an immune reaction to a substance that comes into contact with the skin. The most common substances that cause contact allergies in dogs are flea collars, shampoos, and topical medications. The most common signs of contact allergies in dogs are itchy skin and rashes. Other signs can include hair loss and skin infections.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
If you think your dog has allergies, the first step is to make an appointment with your veterinarian. They will ask you about your dog’s symptoms and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination. Your veterinarian may recommend allergy testing to determine what your dog is allergic to. Allergy testing can be done with a blood test or a skin test. Blood tests are more expensive but are less invasive than skin tests. Once the allergies are diagnosed, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
If the symptoms and sickness have come up rapidly, consider connecting the vet chat online. It’s fast and very useful for urgent situations which can’t wait for the in-person vet appointment. If your doggo is prone to allergies and you know how often something dramatic in this regard might happen, an emergency pet fund might come into use. Use it to consult with the vet online and receive the emergency health case refund.
How Are Allergies Treated?
The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and make your dog comfortable. There is no cure for allergies, but the symptoms can be managed. The most common treatment for allergies is allergy shots. Allergy shots are given over a period of time and help to reduce the symptoms.
Other treatments for allergies include antihistamines, steroids, and immunotherapy. Antihistamines can help to relieve the symptoms but may cause side effects, such as drowsiness. Steroids can also help to relieve the symptoms, but should only be used for a short period of time. Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that helps to reduce the symptoms over time.
You can also take steps at home to help your dog with its allergies. These steps include:
— Bathing your dog regularly with a hypoallergenic shampoo
— Keeping your dog’s environment clean and free of allergens
— Wiping your dog’s feet after they go outside
— Purchasing an air purifier for your home
— Give your dog a daily supplement of omega-3 fatty acids