Dog allergy symptoms
When humans think of allergies what frequently comes to mind is coughing and sneezing with itchy, red and watery eyes. However, for our four legged friends this is definitely not always the case.
Dog allergy symptoms vary from breed to breed, dog to dog and indeed season to season, but in general symptoms are primarily focused on their digestive tracts, ears and skin - where ever mast cells are most common.
Although dog allergies present in a completely different way as they do in humans the common denominator for humans and dogs is that allergies leave their victims feeling very miserable and generally uncomfortable. Some warning signs for your dog might be:
- chewing on their feet until they are red and irritated
- hair loss
- hair loss
- hot spots which is when the skin becomes inflamed and infected
- rubbing their face on carpet
- recurrent ear infections because of the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce
If for whatever reason your dog has developed tender and sensitive skin, it is most likely as a result of chewing and scratching, which not surprisingly is also the cause of his or her hair loss. Whenhis or her skin becomes raw, it also becomes more susceptible to bacterial infections so if you see any of these symptoms starting to develop, don't mess around, get your pet to the vet asap. He or she will quickly be able to identify whether your dog's allergies are food related, seasonal or atopic.
Spring is frequently regarded as the allergy season for humans, but did you know that Summer is the worst season for dog allergies? In many cases allergies can ruin your dog’s, Summer. However, on the positive side at least they are seasonal allergies and for the remainder of the year it is just a matter of keeping up with maintenance treatment of whatever you and your vet have decided upon
Flea and inhalant allergies
Dogs with flea allergies, inhalant allergies (atopy) or contact allergies (from lying on grasses, etc.) will show varying degrees of skin irritation and scratching.
Dogs scratch because they are itchy, and dogs with dog allergy symptoms scratch and scratch and keep on scratching in an effort to find relief. They literally cant stop scratching.
When dogs constantly scratch and bite at themselves they inflict enormous physical trauma upon their skin and body, which may include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Itchy ears
- Itchy and/or thickened skin.
- Reddened, angry sore looking skin.
- Hives, e.g. raised, circular wealds on their skin.
- Seizures - many dog owners associate convulsions with neurological problems, but they need to be be mindful that dietary allergens can also be responsible for seizures.
- Bald patches.
- Scabs - scabs often develop a yellowish smelly discharge, or bleed.
- Bacterial infections.
Other signs may be more subtle, such as:
- Obsessive licking and biting of their feet - over time, their feet can become brownish colored from the dog's saliva.
- Itchiness and redness around the lips and eyelids - this is particularly common with dogs with inhalant allergies. These dogs will often rub their faces on mats/carpets, furniture or other surfaces to relieve their itchiness.
Dogs with dog allergy symptoms to food may also exhibit the same skin and ear problems as other allergic dogs, but in general their skin issues may be more subtle.
Dogs with food allergies are more likely to present with digestive symptoms:
- Tummy upsets (reflux or diarrhea).
- Soft poorly formed stools.
- Recurring hard to clear up yeast infections of their ears.
In the initial stages of dog allergy symptoms, itchy skin and ear infections are not life threatening, however if left untreated, all dog allergy symptoms will become extremely uncomfortable for your pet and some could become fatal, e.g. young pups with flea infestations/allergy symptoms can die through lack of blood.
Whatever the cause of your dog’s allergy symptoms, be they from insect bites, inhalants or food, they need immediate medical attention. Please be a responsible and kind pet owner and speak to your vet about the best way to treat your dog's allergies and how to avoid future attacks.
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com