dog allergy symptoms

Learn To Recognize Dog Allergy Symptoms

All dog owners should know how to recognize dog allergy symptoms. The same substances that trigger a hypersensitive response in humans may also affect dogs. Reports of these reactions in both humans and animals have increased. The substances are in themselves harmless. But, to certain persons or animals they are allergens.

Allergies do not usually occur with the initial exposure. They develop over time. Although in some cases, it can be with the first exposure. The immune system builds antibodies to fight the next encounter with the offending agent. With the next contact, white blood cells, known as mast cells, attack the allergen. A substance called histamine is released, and symptoms occur.

The skin disorders of allergic response are quite distressing for dogs. Rashes, redness, and bumps result together with intense itching. In an attempt to obtain relief, the animal scratches, causing abrasions. The skin breaks and often becomes infected, causing more discomfort. This frequently results in hair loss at the site and surrounding area. The continual discomfort may cause hyperactive behaviors to be exhibited.

The allergy that occurs most often is a topic. Some veterinarians believe this to be caused by inhalation of airborne particles. Things such as dust, pollen, molds, air fresheners, smoke, etc, may be the offending agents. Others contribute the symptoms to both airborne and skin contact sources. With either cause, the animal reacts the same. Chewing of the feet, rubbing the face on the carpet, and other signs are seen. Hot spots are not uncommon. Ear infections are sometimes associated.

Contact dermatitis allergies are from direct skin contact with offending sources. Carpet fibers, grass, bushes, fabrics, lawn fertilizers, plastics, are possible allergens. Highly scented shampoos or other topical applications may also cause allergic reactions.

Dogs are not allergic to fleas. Flea saliva, however, contains a protein they are allergic to. Those that are accustomed to flea bites may build up a tolerance to it. Those that are not may become allergic soon after the first exposure. The bite areas become irritated and inflamed, and itching may be severe. Hair loss is not uncommon.

Food allergies in dogs are not uncommon. This differs from food intolerance. Intolerance may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and flatus. Changing to a different pet food may solve this problem. A quality brand pet food can be recommended by a veterinarian. Sometimes, a dog may become allergic to the food he/she is used to eating. This is less likely to occur with better brands. Food allergies, as in other hypersensitive responses, exhibits as itching. Scooting on carpets and lawn in attempt to obtain relief from anal itching may be noted.

Other conditions, such as sarcoptic mange, may mimic signs of allergy. It is caused by mites that burrow under the skin, causing itching and rash. Treatment must be with specific medication that kills the mites. Cool baths may temporarily relieve many skin discomforts. For effective treatment, accurate diagnosis by a veterinarian must be made. 
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