Allergies are very common in dogs. In fact, probably 70 to 80% of our clientele have dogs with allergies.
Dogs could be allergic to certain foods, but a lot of times it's more environmental than anything else. These environmental allergens could be human dander, cat dander, dust mites, grass pollens or tree pollens, essentially just about anything.
Sometimes dogs with allergies will exhibit symptoms similar to humans, like sneezing, coughing, and runny eyes. You could also notice a lot of licking and scratching, such as chewing at their paws or licking at their skin.
When dogs have allergies and they're scratching and chewing at their skin, they're opening that skin up and this can lead to secondary infections, significantly affecting their health.
While it's possible to identify potential allergies at home, it's much safer to seek a veterinary recommendation.
A veterinarian will look at all the symptoms presented by the dog and make a diagnosis based on these. If allergies are suspected, the dog may be put on medications or even referred to a dermatologist.
Often, an antihistamine is used to decrease the allergic reactions. In some cases, medications like prednisone may be used. The exact treatment depends on the severity of the allergies.
Shampoo therapy involves using special shampoos that help soothe the dog's skin. These shampoos contain ceramides that replenish the skin, which gets damaged from the dog's scratching due to the allergies.
Hyposensitization or desensitization therapy, usually administered by a dermatologist, helps the dog get used to the allergens causing the allergic reactions.
Dog Allergies - FAQs 1
A lot of times we're going to be looking at the skin, so we may do a skin cytology or a skin scrape. We're also going to be doing a full physical exam to see if we see any issues that may be caused by allergies.
Allergies are very common in dogs. We see at least several appointments a day about them.
Dogs, just like humans, could have a little bit of sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, but a lot of times you're going to notice that they're chewing at their feet or licking or scratching all over.
A contact allergy is when they've lain on something or sat on something that's very irritating to their skin.
A lot of times if we think that a dog has a food allergy, we're going to try a food trial by taking them off all of the main proteins and putting them on a specific diet such as ZD or Royal Canin's hypoallergenic profile or even Purina's hypoallergenic.
Dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. It's a little bit more difficult here in Florida since we don't have as many seasonal changes.
A lot more times we'll see a lot more skin irritation in dog allergies versus in humans, where it affects your upper respiratory system.
Dog Allergies - FAQs 2
We're just looking at their skin. We might do some skin scraping, cytology to examine everything, and if we really suspect allergies, we may even refer you to a dermatologist.
Most of the time, we try to do the tests in the clinic. However, if you're going to a dermatologist, it could take a few weeks, depending on what they're doing.
We often use antihistamines, but we also sometimes prescribe drugs such as Aboquil, Cytopoint, or even Prednisone.
The treatment varies. If your dog has severe allergies to them, we may have to use something like Prednisone. Otherwise, we'll definitely recommend some shampoos to soothe the skin and ensure they're on a good flea and tick medication.
We frequently use Aboquil and Cytopoint, but antihistamines are generally your safest bet.
Yes, you certainly can. We usually recommend about one milligram per pound.
There might be some, but we don't typically recommend them at this time.
Try to keep your home as clean as possible to decrease the amount of dust and pollens that are present.
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