Dog Care | Allergies
Dogs Suffer From Allergies Too
As with humans, allergies can affect dogs with many of similar characteristics. However, where allergies may be respiratory in humans, dogs experience more skin related issues, such as itching and scratching. Dog allergies fall in three main categories: flea allergy dermatitis, Atopy, and food allergies. Some pets can suffer from more than one allergy.
What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis
How is FAD Diagnosed?
How is FAD Treated?
Sometimes your vet may prescribe steroids, antihistamines and essential fatty acids to relieve the “itch-scratch” cycle. Warm water baths and anti-itch shampoo/ conditioners can also help.
However, there is no cure for FAD. Your dog will always be allergic and you will continuously need to be on your guard for future problems.
What is Atopy?
Itching around the face, feet, lower chest and belly are the primary symptoms. Depending on the cause, this may occur only seasonally, as with pollen, or year round with more common allergens, like mold or dust mites. “Hot spots”, other skin infections and ear problems can also develop. Hair loss can occur with pets that frequently scratch. Typically, these signs will begin to appear from ages 4 months to 7 years, with initial symptoms occurring at 1-3 years old.
How is Atopy Diagnosed?
How is Atopy Treated?
- Anti-itch therapy, including the use of pet-safe drugs, medicated shampoo and conditioner.
- Eliminating the source of the allergy from the environment, as much as possible.
- A process called Hypo sensitization, which uses a series of injections to gradually accustom your pet’s system to the problem. Although its effectiveness varies, it provides relief for around 75% of dogs with Atopy.
- If the allergy is relatively mild, you can use Elizabethan Collars, the kind that wrap around the head, to physically prevent your dog from scratching or biting themselves.
What are Food Allergies?
The most common symptoms of food allergies are itching, licking and chewing. Ear infections, as well as skin issues, are also common with food allergies. Some pets may also suffer from diarrhea and digestive problems. Symptoms can appear at any age, whether a pet has just started a new diet or has consumed the same food for years.
How are Food Allergies Diagnosed?
If your dog has food allergies, there should be a large decrease in symptoms after the recommended period on the exclusion diet, provided your pet is no allergic to the new diet as well. To find out which food causes allergies, add a single portion of various proteins for 1-2 weeks at a time. Watch for allergies during these times. If any occur, remove the ingredient from their diet. Ask your vet for more info on this method.