Spring is a beautiful time of the year. Everything is back in bloom. Flowers are everywhere. Trees are green. You can finally take your furry friend outside with you to enjoy the wonderful weather. Nothing bad can happen during this wonderful time. Right? But what if your pet has allergies? Just like you and I, our pets can have allergies. It could be a cause of multiple different things or could be just one thing. It can be mild case of allergies or can be severe. How can you tell if your pet has allergies and what can you do to help relieve them from that stress? Here are some tips about allergies and what you can do to help. If you believe that your pet has allergies, please contact your Veterinarian.
What Are The General Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs?
Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin Increased scratching Itchy, runny eyes Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy) Itchy ears and ear infections Sneezing Vomiting Diarrhea Snoring caused by an inflamed throat Paw chewing/swollen paws Constant licking
Dogs will allergies may also have either Bacterial or Yeast infections. This could be either due to the allergies or could be another issue all together. This infections can cause hair loss, scabs, crust on the skin or could also become Hot Spots.
Which Dogs Are At Risk For Getting Allergies?
American Pit Bull Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth and Wire)
Schnauzer (All sizes)
West Highland White Terrier
Bulldog (all types)
Chinese Shar Pei
Collie (Rough and Smooth)
Dachshund (All types)
Poodle (All sizes)
Jack (& Parson) Russell Terriers
Spaniel (All types)
Bernese Mountain Dog
There are many more breeds that are not as common, but still have the ability to have allergies at some point in their life. Any breed mixed with these breeds may or may not have allergies as well. Do your research before buying.
What Are The Different Types Of Allergy?
There are several ways of classifying allergies. Some examples of classifications include:
- Precipitating allergen – Flea Allergy
- Route the allergen takes into the body – Inhalant Allergy, Skin Contact Allergy or Food Allergy
- Time it takes for the immune reaction – Immediate-type Hypersensitivity, also called Anaphylaxis or Shock, and Delayed-type Hypersensitivity
- Type of immune reaction – Types I through IV Hypersensitivity
- Clinical Signs – Allergic Dermatitis or Allergic Bronchitis
- Inherited forms – Atopy or Seasonal Allergies
We’ll go over the most common types which are food and inhalant allergies
What Is An Inhalant Allergy And How Is It Treated?
Inhalant allergies are allergies that are inhalated by your pet. The main types of allergens are tree pollens (cedar, ash, oak etc), grass pollens, weed pollens (ragweed), molds, mildew and dust mites. These types of allergies usually occur seasonally, though they some times can be year round. Treatment depends on the length of the specific allergy season. Anti-inflammatories, shampoo therapy or desensitization therapy (the use of serum against the certain allergen to help reduce the reaction)
What Are Food Allergies And How Is It Treated?
Food allergies (or food hypersensitivity) can develop at any age and any protein or carbohydrate component of food. The most common types of proteins that your pet could possibly react are dairy products, beef, wheat gluten, chicken, chicken eggs, lamb, and soy.
Food allergies typically do not respond well to corticosteroids or other medical treatments. Treatment requires identifying the components of the diet and eliminating them. The most accurate way of testing for food allergies is with a food elimination diet trial using a hypoallergenic diet. This usually takes about 6 to 12 weeks to run. During this time your pet is not allowed to eat anything but the hypoallergenic diet. If they do it may cause the trial to run longer than needed. If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a valid test and you may have to start over. All table food, treats or flavored vitamins must be discontinued during the testing period. There may be problems with certain types of chewable tablets or medications such as heartworm preventive. Your veterinarian will discuss the specific diet and restrictions recommended for your dog.
If a positive response and improvement of your pet’s clinical signs occurs, your veterinarian will advise you on how to proceed.