Dog Skin Allergies – 10 FAQ To Help You Understand Your Allergic Dog

Posted 04/10/2010 by
dog skin allergies sad Dog Skin Allergies   10 FAQ To Help You Understand Your Allergic Dog

Think no itch and it'll stop

1.  What is dog skin allergies?

This is a condition when a dog’s immune system “over reacts” to foreign materials(allergens) that he is exposed to. This over reaction is also known as an allergic reaction.
Allergens that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs may include pollens, molds, food proteins, and flea saliva. They are usually ordinary substances, found in your everyday environment.

2.  Are you sure my dog has allergies? He is not sneezing, and he does not have runny nose.

Your dog’s body reacts to an allergen in a different manner.

For human, allergy symptoms are mostly associated with the respiratory system.
Hence, if you have allergies, you are likely to get a runny, itchy nose; sneezing; coughing or wheezing; and red, watery eyes.

3.  In that case, what are the allergy symptoms for dogs?

For your dog, allergy symptoms are primarily manifested in the skin. And to a lesser extent, affects the respiratory system and digestive system. Your dog may have allergies if he has any of the following symptoms:

  • itchiness
  • scratches his body
  • licks or chews on paws or body
  • has red patches on the paws or between the toes
  • rubs his face on the carpet or furniture
  • recurring ear infections
  • hair loss
  • skin rashes. hives or open sores on the skin
  • runny eyes and nose
  • sneezes, coughs or wheezes
  • vomits and diarrhea

4.  But why is my dog itching so badly? What’s happening inside his body?

Your dog experiences severe itching due to histamine, which is a chemical released by the immune system during allergic reactions. Histamine triggers inflammation, irritations and adverse itchiness in your dog’s skin.

This is what happens inside the body. When your dog inhales, ingests, or comes in contact with the allergens, the immune system produces a protein called IgE. This protein attaches itself to mast cells that are located in the dog’s skin. When this happens, it causes the release of various irritating chemicals. Histamine is one of these chemicals.

Since there are abundant mast cells within the dog’s skin, your dog itches terribly when an allergy occurs.

5.  What are the different types of dog skin allergies?

There are four types of dog allergies. They are:

  • Airborne allergies (atopy)
  • Flea allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Contact allergies

6.  Can you list the allergens?

Allergens come in many forms. It is possible that your dog is allergic to one or more substances at the same time.
Here is a list of dog allergens commonly seen by vets.

  • Flea bite
  • Tree pollens
  • Grass pollens
  • Weed pollens
  • Fabrics such as wool or nylon
  • Rubber and plastic items
  • Animal proteins and grains found in dog food
  • Food additives like colorings
  • Dairy products
  • House dust and dust mites
  • Dander
  • Molds

7.  At what age is my dog likely to develop allergies?

Most dogs develop allergies between the age of 1 and 3.

However, dogs can develop allergies at any age. There are reports of puppies as young as 5 months old who have allergies. And some dogs only start to develop allergies after their 6th birthday.

Sadly, as the dog ages, he usually develops additional allergies and his hypersensitivity reactions to allergens may become more severe.
Seasonal allergic reactions may turn into year-round allergy condition as your dog’s immune system is constantly exposed to something which he is allergic to.

8.  Could my dog inherit the allergies from his pop and mom?

It’s possible. Allergies are passed down genetically from parents to offspring. The newborns run a higher risk of developing allergies if the dam or sire have allergies.

9.  Why is my Fido prone to allergies whilst my neighbour’s mutt is fit as a fiddle? Does breed matters?

All breeds of dog can be affected by dog skin allergies. However, it seems to be especially common in terriers, dalmatians, golden retrievers, schnauzers, poodles and setters. Flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers are also at risk.

10. What are the treatments for allergies?

Treatments mainly depend on the cause of allergy, and on the length of the dog’s allergy season.

Here are some approaches:

  • Avoidance
  • Flea control
  • Antihistamines
  • Steroids
  • Bath using hypoallergenic shampoo
  • Hyposensitization
  • Antibiotics
  • Elimination diet

It can be hard to watch your dog suffer with allergy symptoms. Consult your veterinarian for treatment options that work best for your pet. In the meantime, learn more about dog skin allergies so that you understand the health challenges your dog is going through.

Keeping your dog as comfortable as possible will help to lessen some of the adverse symptoms during this trying period. And allow your pet to focus on recovery.

Relieve your pet’s allergic symptoms with a natural Dog Skin Care Remedy.
See: Reduce Dog Skin Allergies Itch and Inflammation

Image: R’eyes

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