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Dogs Suffering From Allergies

March 15 2024

Did you know that up to one in every five of our canine pals may suffer from allergies? This is actually quite similar to the numbers for allergies in humans. It is estimated that one in every four persons has allergies. That equates to almost 100 million individuals alone in the United States. The following article, written by an Urbana, IL veterinarian, explains the topic of dog allergies.

What Are the Most Common Allergies in Dogs?

Skin disorders are possibly the most common among our canine pets. Many of these are caused by parasites like fleas. Dogs can also develop contact dermatitis, which is a sort of skin allergy. As the name implies, Fido has come into direct contact with some type of irritant. Food allergies are not uncommon, and a close second common allergy issue, among our canine companions.

What Are the Signs of Allergies in Dogs?

It is not always easy to recognize when your best buddy has allergies. The indications can vary significantly from pup to dog. It ultimately comes down to what Fido reacts to and how extreme the reaction is.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Dander
  • Facial Rubbing
  • Food Allergies
  • Hives
  • Hair Loss
  • Itchiness
  • Itchy Ears
  • Licking
  • Licking Paws
  • Redness, Flaking, and Inflammation (Skin Problems)
  • Runny Eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stubborn Ear Infections
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting

Many of these symptoms might be suggestive of a wide range of conditions, including allergies. That’s why it’s critical to take Fido to your Urbana, IL vet for an accurate diagnosis.

What Causes Allergies in Dogs?

Allergies affect dogs and people in similar ways. Fido’s immune system will one day become intolerant to a specific thing. This is usually some type of protein. It may be insect protein, plant protein, animal protein, or protein from food.

When your puppy’s immune system gets sensitive to a certain material, it initiates an immunological response against it and begins to generate antibodies. This causes a chain reaction, resulting in the production of histamines. This triggers the reactions that can make your poor pooch uncomfortable such as itching and swelling.

In some ways, the immune system is wildly concerned about protecting the body from external toxins.

This is, of course, the condensed version: information concerning allergens and immune system responses to them can be pretty complicated. Contact your veterinarian for further information.

What Types of Allergies Can Dogs Develop?

Dog allergies, like human allergies, fall into several categories. They can be sorted in a variety of ways.

Environmental Allergies

As the name implies, an environmental allergy is a response to anything in the environment. Pollen, dust, mold, grass, and leaves, as well as cigarette smoke or perfume, are among the many possible reasons.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are essentially environmental allergies that manifest at specific seasons of the year. This list includes a variety of tree pollen, plants, grasses, leaves, and flowers. Keep in mind that your dog can pick up pollen on his paws and tummy while running and playing in the yard.

Dietary Allergies

Food allergies are among the most frequent allergies in dogs. In some circumstances, Fido is allergic to the meal itself. In other circumstances, it is a single substance, such as an addition or preservative. Many puppies are allergic to certain meats, including beef, chicken, and pork. Others may react to corn or grains. Legumes and root vegetables could also disagree with Man’s Best Friend.

Insect Allergies

Fido’s fur does not always protect him against bug bites. He can react to a variety of insect bites, including fleas, blackflies, deer flies, horseflies, mosquitoes, ants, wasps, bees, and hornets. Dogs can also respond poorly to arachnids such as spiders and ticks.

Contact Allergies

Contact allergies can be caused by a variety of chemicals. Certain fabrics, such as your carpet or sofa material, ingredients in Fido’s dog shampoo, floor waxes, and mulch are examples of this. Fido may even potentially be allergic to dander or to your cat.

Anaphylactic Shock

This is the most severe sort of allergy, and it can be fatal. This is a severe reaction. These could be caused by bee stings, severe food allergies, or vaccination reactions. These reactions could be fatal if not immediately addressed. Fortunately, they are rare.

What Is the Best Way to Care for a Dog With Allergies?

As previously said, the first thing you should do is take Fido to your Urbana, IL vet for an accurate diagnosis. That way, you’ll be able to get your canine companion started on the right path.

There are several activities you can do at home. Vacuuming and dusting regularly can help remove dust, fur, dander, pollen, and other irritants from your carpets and furniture. Additionally, changing your air filters on a regular basis can be beneficial. We would also recommend that you wash your pet’s bedding frequently. Though you’ll need to verify the instructions on the label, if possible, wash in hot water with unscented detergent and tumble dry.

This is also something to think about when decorating. If it’s time to get a new sofa, choose one with an allergy-friendly covering, such as leather. To soften it, use washable throw blankets. You may also wish to consider window treatments that do not trap dust.

Another thing you may do is start tracking pollen counts. When levels are high, minimize your pet’s outdoor activity. Wipe clean your dog’s paws and tummy before bringing him inside.

Finally, keep up with Fido’s parasite and grooming needs. Contact your veterinarian for further information.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Food Allergies?

Food allergies might be a little problematic. You will need to determine exactly what your pet is reacting to, which may take some time. Your veterinarian may prescribe that Fido eat fairly bland food for a period until his symptoms improve. Once symptoms have subsided, you might begin reintroducing things one by one to observe what creates a reaction.

How Can Allergies Be Treated?

Allergies cannot be cured, but there are steps you can take to help keep your pet comfortable. The first step is to schedule an appointment with your Urbana, IL veterinarian to identify what is causing your pup’s sensitivity. At that point, you and your veterinarian will be able to discuss particular treatment alternatives.

Medications may be among them. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as corticosteroids or antihistamines, fatty acid supplements, and topical medication are some of the choices available. Fido may also benefit from desensitization. In other circumstances, simply switching shampoos may be enough. If your pet has any known or suspected food allergies, your veterinarian may recommend a specific diet.

When Do Dogs Start to Develop an Allergy to Certain Things?

Fido can develop allergies to a wide range of items. These allergies can develop at any stage of his life. However, dogs rarely develop allergies before the age of six months. Most pups are at least a year or two old when symptoms start to show. This is because Fido’s immune system takes time to evaluate whatever substance Fido interacts with and determine whether or not it likes it.

Is it possible that your dog suffers from allergies, or do you have any reason to suspect that it might? Contact us at Good Friends Animal Hospital in Urbana, IL today. We are here to help!  

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