Everything You Need to Know
Itching and scratching is a symptom that most pet parents disregard as common doggie behavior. Among other things, this can be a sign that your dog is allergic to something. Allergies are immune responses to certain allergens and it can cause severe discomfort to your dog. Uncontrollable watering of eyes, excessive itching, skin rashes, and chronic ear infections can all be a reaction to allergies.
Common Types of Allergies That Can Affect Dogs
- Food Allergies
As much as 10 percent of all allergies in dogs are food allergies. Apart from the usual symptoms of severe itchiness, other clinic symptoms of food allergies may also include lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs are often allergic to certain amino acids present in protein-rich food. Therefore, common food allergens may include chicken, beef, eggs, and others. Dogs can also be allergic to grains such as corn, rice, and wheat. Dogs can also have a dairy allergy which means their allergic reactions can be caused by yogurt, milk, and cheese.
- Flea and Tick Allergies
Apart from transmitting deadly diseases, fleas and ticks can also cause allergies. This can result in sudden hair loss, excessive itchiness, redness in the skin.
- Seasonal Allergies
As the name suggests, these allergies happen at a particular time of the year. They are usually caused by airborne pollens of certain seasonal flowers. The symptoms of seasonal allergies include skin redness, rashes, itchiness, and secondary skin infections.
How to Detect If Your Dog Has Allergies?
Itchiness is probably the most common sign of allergies in dogs. Following are two ways you can detect your dog has allergies.
- Observable Signs
Reddish-brown discoloration around the mouth is one of the many symptoms of allergy. Other signs include reddish underbelly, patchy coat, watering of eyes, chronic ear infection, and more. These clinical signs can be an indication of allergies but they are not definitive proofs.
- Medical Tests
Vets often prescribe a saliva test to measure the number of antibodies present after your dog has certain food items. Food allergy elimination test is also a common method to zero in on the allergen causing the reaction. This non-invasive test involves eliminating all types of food your dog has barring the bare essentials then slowly reintroducing them to see what’s causing the allergy.
Pet Medications Vets Prescribe to Treat Dogs with Allergies
Right off the bat, it needs to be mentioned that there is no cure for allergies in dogs. With that being mentioned, there are pet meds that can help your pet to fight the symptoms of allergies. The best option always is to detect the allergen and reduce its exposure as quickly as possible. There are plenty of so-called herbal remedies out there that promises a cure but it makes sense to read pet meds reviews by customers before trusting any particular product.
Instead of relying on experimental and unproven “herbal” cures, it’s best to consult a vet. Vets usually prescribe pet meds such as Diphenhydramine, Chlorpheniramine, Hydroxyzine HCl, and other antihistamines to treat the symptoms. Vets may also prescribe steroids to quickly control allergy symptoms. Considering the fact that repeated steroid usage renders the medication ineffective, it’s just a temporary solution to provide relief and buy more time to detect the allergen.