Dog Skin Allergies, along with ear infections, are among the most common health problems in dogs. They are difficult to diagnose as symptoms can be common across many diseases.
As there is usually no cure, Allergies need to be constantly managed. Most Allergies are seasonal and the inhalant type, such as tree pollen. If you suspect your dog has a skin allergy, check to see whether it has any of the symptoms listed below.
Symptoms of Dog Skin Allergies
Rubbing its face on the ground or carpet Chewing on its limbs Hair loss Mutiliated/red/sore skin Nasal or eye discharge Skin Allergy Testing For Dogs
There are two types of testing that can be undertaken for dog skin allergies:-
Blood Tests are taken to check for antibodies in the dog’s blood that have been triggered by antigens. Intradermal Skin Testing is where a small amount of antigen is injected into an area of the dog’s skin and observed to determine whether it causes an Allergic Reaction. This is the most common form of testing and has a high success rate for identification of Dog Skin Allergies.
Alternatively, and more specifically if a Food Allergy is suspected, systematic elimination of items from a dog’s diet or environment may help uncover the underlying causes of the allergies.
Dog Skin Allergy Treatments Avoidance – Keep your dog out of grassy fields (keep your lawn mowed short), keep your dog indoors during the pollen season, use humidifiers and keep pets away from you when you are cleaning an area and it is likely to stir a bit of dust (eg vaccuuming). Topical Therapy – This involves using “external medications” such as shampoos, rinses and creams for Allergy Relief. Antihistamines – Apparently these are only about 30% successful for dogs. It is usually recommended to include fatty acids such as Omega 3 in your dog’s diet when combined with this treatment to improve the chances of success. Steroids – I wouldn’t recommend this option except as a last resort. The side effects are numerous.
It is important to note that each dog responds differently to different treatments, but it is wise to be aware Dog Skin Allergies so that you can ask the right questions of your vet and not blindly accept a recommendation of “drugs” to fix a problem that may be eliminated by natural or environmental means.