Dog allergies & symptoms – The holistic guide to those with dogs and those with dog allergies
You may not know it, but your dog might be suffering from allergies.
The problem is that unlike human allergies which are relatively easy to identify, dog allergies have symptoms which are unique to dogs that often simply look as though your dog is being well, a dog.
Just as human beings are affected by allergic reactions, dogs are affected similarly.
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Let’s discuss a few of the allergies as well as their symptoms below.
Types of allergies your dog may have
There is 2 main type of allergies that your dog may have:
1 – Skin Allergies:
- 1.1 – Flea Allergy – Dermatitis
This is an allergic reaction to flea bites. It is a result of your dog’s skin reacting to the flea’s saliva.
This reaction starts an itching sensation in the localized area of the bite. It will cause the area to become, red, inflamed and begin to scab.
- 1.2 – Environmental Allergens
Caused by dust, pollen and mould, these allergens may cause reactions such as dermatitis and itching.
It is not uncommon that these allergens are seasonally recurring, so be aware of their frequency (which season is your dog experiencing the symptoms).
May also affect paws, ears, wrist, ankles muzzle, underarms groin, eyes and in-between toes.
*Please be aware that any allergens which include skin discomfort that causes itching, may result in a secondary infection caused by your dog biting and scratching at the area experiencing discomfort.
Be sure to buy a dog safe anti-septic to prevent this from happening.
2 – Food Allergies
Food allergies may also cause an itchy sensation in the paws and ears, however, you should also pay close attention to gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea or vomiting.
Food allergies in dogs can be serious and should be taken seriously when symptoms such as hives, facial swelling, gastrointestinal, or severe itching are experienced (your dog should receive veterinary attention).
In some cases dogs may experience anaphylaxis, this is a severe reaction, you will need to get your dog to a veterinary clinic or doctor immediately.
Similarly to humans reactions to peanuts, anaphylaxis is when your throat begins to swell, causing you to stop breathing. It is a serious reaction and will be fatal if not treated immediately.
The key to food allergies and your canine friend is avoidance. So in the event that your dog experiences these symptoms, monitor their food intake diligently.
Alternatively, you may consult with your veterinary professional to perform an allergen test which will be able to reveal the allergies.
While this process is effective, there are cases where simply following an elimination diet will be able to easily identify the allergen.
Help your dog to cope better with the allergies
Many people have carried out an accredited test to know the allergies of the dog.
You will only need to take some mouth sample from a cotton device. Click in the following link to find out more about the Dog Allergy Test
What you need to know
It is important to know what is your dog breed as some races have a major tendency to suffer specific allergies.
Is it also suggested knowing the genetic age of your dog to recognize other illnesses and health problems.
Suspect you have dog allergies?
Some symptoms include swelling and itching of the membranes around the nose and eye region when you are in the vicinity of the animal.
You may also experience redness of the skin after being licked by a dog.
The extensiveness of the reaction may cause shortness of breath, wheezing and even a rash on the face, neck and chest areas.
In some cases, children have been known to develop a kind of painful eczema which will warrant the attention of your general practitioner.
There are simple allergen tests which are available for humans. This testing involves a simple skin test known as skin prick test.
How can you get allergies from the dog?
First, the dog allergen is placed on a small area of the skin, followed by a skin sample which is taken with a small skin prick which allows the allergen to seep into the skin.
This is then monitored for allergic symptoms which will signal that you are in fact allergic to the dog allergen. The symptoms include swelling and redness of the skin.
How to fight canine allergies?
There are a few things you can do to minimize the effects of the dog allergen in your home, in the event that you do not plan removing the dog from your home.
Remember, the dog allergen originates in the dander (dead skin) which can be found on the skin of your dog.
This dander is what spreads throughout your home, causing the allergen to affect your allergies even if the dog isn’t present.
Minimize the effects of the allergen
In order to minimize the effects of the allergen,
- Practising avoidance is the best thing that you could possibly do. This includes designating dog-free areas such as your bedroom.
- You may consider taking antihistamines which will block the effects the chemical triggers which cause symptoms.
- An additional precaution, the dog will have to be bathed weekly to reduce the amount of dander on the animal.
The important thing to remember is that you’re unlikely to have a fatal reaction and intolerances to your dog allergies. However, for those who are asthmatic, the reaction may be more severe and a doctor may need to be consulted.
As a general rule, people with allergies should carry a general antihistamine.
Resistance to the pet allergies
Building resistance to the allergy is a possibility. Children who are exposed to dogs from a young age have been known to develop a resistance to the dog allergen and actually reduce the likelihood of developing an allergy to the animal later on in life.
This may not be the case with adults as continuous exposure may result in more severe symptoms.
Precaution should always be taken with allergies and allergic reaction, so be wary and prepared at all times.
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