Allergies – Dogs May Suffer Too

Many people don’t realize that their dogs, just like human
beings, can suffer from allergies. In fact, about twenty percent
of the dogs in the United States alone suffer from one allergy
or another, with flea allergy dermatitis being the most common
form of allergies in dogs. Other types include atopic
dermatitis, food allergies, and inhalant allergies.

Signs and symptoms of dog allergies may vary but are often
marked by persistent itching and discoloration of the skin (most
common in skin allergies), coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and
mucus discharge (most common in inhalant allergies), and nausea,
lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea (common to food allergies and
other ailments.)

Over-the-counter preparations and treatments for common dog
allergies exist and may be purchased at any good pet supply
store, but care should be taken when choosing such treatments.
Consultation with a vet is the best first course of action for
several reasons. First of all, what you think is an allergic
reaction may actually be signs of a more serious ailment and a
vet should be the one to determine whether that is the case.
Secondly, if the allergy is severe enough, over-the-counter
treatments may not be sufficient to treat the symptoms and a
prescription strength treatment may be required. There is also
the chance that the dog does not have an allergy at all. The
last thing you want to do is medicate your pet unnecessarily.

If you do think your dog has some type of allergy, consult your
vet. The doctor will be able to perform tests to determine
whether an allergic condition exists, how severe it is, and what
the proper treatment will be. If the dog has an allergy to
certain foods, it will be imperative to restrict the animal’s
diet to eliminate those items that cause a reaction. The vet’s
testing methods can help to determine whether this type of
allergy exists as well. If the dog has flea allergy dermatitis
(an allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas, rather than to the
insects themselves), an extreme flea prevention regimen will be
recommended.

Just like humans, dogs that suffer from various allergies can
live comfortably with them if they are detected and treated
properly. It is important to keep in mind that this is not a
time to “play doctor” by attempting to diagnose and treat a
possible allergic condition yourself. Only your veterinarian is
qualified to determine whether your dog is suffering from
allergies and what course of action to take

Kirsten Hawkins is a self-improvement enthusiast and freelance writer from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.selfimprovement411.com/ for more great self-improvement tips, strategies, and resources.

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