Allergies in Dogs: Everything That You Need to Know
A dog is truly man's best companion. Please think of the many numerous sessions playing in your backyard together with your children or the morning runs it constantly accompanies you. When healthy and happy, a dog will offer you quality companionship, not to mention its security and loyalty too. Therefore, when it develops an allergy, it may coil back to its natural self, which is quite uncomfortable. As a dog owner, here is everything you need to know about dog allergies to help you for a rainy day.
What Dog Allergy Entails
Your dog develops an allergy when it comes into contact with an allergen. The allergens are typically protein components that trigger the reaction when the dog's body cells perceive it as a threat. Consequently, when the immune cells establish the proteins as a foreign substance, it counteracts by secretion of pro-inflammatory cells, which trigger swelling and inflammation. The reaction creates a threatening environment for foreign matter to cut short their existence.
The Types of Allergy
Your dog might develop an allergic reaction to counter different allergy types. The hypersensitivity and reaction of the immune system develop when they perceive allergens as foreign matter. It may include a flea allergy when a flea bites your dog, transmitting foreign proteins that are a constituent of the flea's saliva.
It forms one of the most common reasons for a dog allergy and happens when an adult flea bites your dog.
Think of an instance where you ate a certain type of food and had an intense allergic flare-up. The same can also apply to your dog. It may include some meat like beef, chicken, and dairy products. It can also be wheat and soy allergy. If your dog has a food allergy, you may notice extreme itching and sometimes sneezing. Additionally, it may also develop hives and vomiting.
Nevertheless, please note that food allergy and intolerance do not mean the same. Therefore, your dog can be intolerant to a specific food item but not be allergic to the same.
Furthermore, another allergic reaction can include atopic dermatitis. It occurs when your dog inhales allergens, which affect the lungs. It can result from different environments that contain pollen, mold, animal hair, or even dust.
Another type of allergy that your dog may have is an acute allergy, probably one of the deadliest reactions. If not treated in time, it may result in anaphylactic shock, which increases the fatality rate. The reaction may develop from different triggers like a bee sting, drugs, and even vaccines.
Furthermore, the time your dog takes to react to an allergen depends on the type. For instance, it may develop immediate hypersensitivity, which occurs soon after exposure to the allergen. On the other hand, it may also have delayed hypersensitivity, which takes a considerable amount of time before the onset of the signs and symptoms.
Signs to Watch Out For
Your dog may develop itchiness on the skin. Consequently, you will notice numerous attempts to scratch their skin using their paw or even against a surface. Additionally, redness and hair loss may follow, especially around the feet and underarms. You may also notice inflammation, especially around the face, lips, eyes, and ears. Sneezing and a runny nose is also a common occurrence. Sometimes, they may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
Your dog can also have vigorous scratching on the affected area. If it can reach the area, you will notice licking and chewing the area constantly to relieve its discomfort. Your dog may also develop wounds on the affected area with continuous itching and scratching.
A bacterial infection may also follow in areas around the years. Therefore, to quickly identify a current infection, it is advisable to check the ear flaps to observe any redness and discharge resulting from the inflammation. The histamine reaction is what causes inflammation, redness, and even itching.
A veterinary can properly diagnose the type of dog allergy your pet has by allergy testing to give possible causes of the allergic reaction.
It may involve the intradermal skin test method, which is an intentional approach in subjecting your dog to different triggers. It can also be the serum allergy testing method, where the vet draws blood from the dog and analyzes the blood content that responds to different antigens.
You can also give your dog anti-itch medication. Studies show that human medications may work on dogs, Piriton, for instance. In most cases, Piriton for dog allergies is safe, however, you should first consult your vet before giving it to your dog. In other instances, you can also make your dog wear items like collars and T-shirts to reduce the itchiness in specific areas. Supplements are also ideal for enhancing your dog's anti-inflammation ability, which will keep itching and swelling at bay.
Sometimes, the vet can also result in hyposensitization therapy. In this treatment, your dog receives allergic vaccine shots, which gradually minimizes allergic reaction's effect upon exposure.
You can also use shampoo therapy on your dog. It entails using a hypoallergenic shampoo, which offers an instant soothing relief on itchy and inflamed skin. Plus, it also washes away the allergen substances which are on the dog's skin surface.
The triggers will vary depending on the type of allergy
your dog is experiencing. Nevertheless, it may include mold or even pollen grains from flowers. Additionally, it will have several exposure incidents to the trigger for your dog to have an allergic reaction. Another trigger can also be food.
The allergic reaction may occur when your dog has skin contact with the allergen, inhalation, or even consumption.
After treatment, it is advisable to eliminate the allergic triggers to protect your dog. It applies to both food and the environment. However, it is essential to use a trial and error method in eliminating potential threats. Plus, always remember that allergies have no specific cure, but effective management can tone down the reactions. If it is a food allergy, eliminating potential foods that trigger the reaction is ideal. On the other hand, it is advisable to control the environment, dust, pollen, and even mold. In the case of flea allergy, insect control is ideal. Furthermore, always remember that every dog has the potential to have an allergic reaction.