Dog Allergies – Managing An Ongoing Medical Problem
Allergies can make your dog miserable with itching, eye discharge, ear infections and stomach distress. Finding the allergen at fault can take some time, particularly with food allergies.
Dog Breeds Vulnerable to AllergiesCertain breeds seem to be more vulnerable to allergy reactions than others. For instance, a high proportion of terriers, retrievers, and setters are prone to allergies, as are flat-faced breeds like pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs. Collies, cocker spaniels, Dalmatians, Llasa apsos, shar peis and a number of other breeds also have a high percentage of allergy problems. Of course, individual dogs of any breed can have problems with allergies.
What Causes Allergies?Allergy reactions occur when offending substances are in the dog’s environment or when he ingests something that causes a physical response. Some breeds have an atopic tendency to certain substances, that is, they have exaggerated immune system reactions. This tendency is an inherited trait, however, many dogs can develop allergies spontaneously at any time of their lives. This may occur due to stress or medical conditions that compromise the dog’s immune system. Basically, three sources of allergies should be investigated, food the dog consumes, air the dog breaths and substances in the environment the dog touches.
Skin SymptomsAllergies can cause a wide range skin symptoms, including moist, inflamed areas, rashes, hair loss, and itchy areas that the dog constantly chews or licks. Problem areas are usually the paws, base of the tail, areas of the face, around the ears and on the abdomen. Often, these irritated areas then develop a secondary infection that must be treated with antibiotic medications. Flea bites can cause a severe allergic reaction with intense itching and skin eruption.
Flat-faced breeds like Pugs are often prone to allergies