Friday, January 18, 2013

Dog Allergies - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Allergies in Dogs

One of the most common conditions affecting dogs is allergy, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday substances-or allergens- as dangerous. There is a wide variety of allergies that dogs can suffer from, but the most common is itching of the skin, sometimes localized (one area) or generalized (all over the dog). Some other manifestation involves the digestive system, resulting in vomiting or diarrhea. Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, that may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.
Dog Allergies Symptoms
Dog Allergies
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  +Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin    
  +Increased scratching
  +Itchy, runny eyes
  +Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  +Itchy ears and ear infections
  +Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  +Paw chewing/swollen paws
  +Constant licking
In some cases, the symptoms involve the respiratory system, with coughing, sneezing, or wheezing. Sometimes, there could be runny discharge from eyes or nose.
Causes of Dog Allergies
There are five main categories of allergies in dogs
+Food allergies: The most popular symptoms of food allergies consist of skin irritation, excessive itching and hair loss or hot spots. Also, they may be cause the dog to have loose bowel movements and even cause them to throw up from time to time. Some of causes for food allergies including a built-up intolerance to beef, dairy products or chicken, corn and soy.  The easiest solution is to change to a different dry dog food, and if this is not the answer, a visit at your vet is necessary for further assistance.
+Flea: Such as food allergies, the dog will develop redness to the skin, become itchy, and can start chewing in spots. The main cause of dog fleas is the saliva of fleas that irritates dog’s skin. As well as mosquitoes, fleas suck the blood out of the dog. Can treatment is giving the dog a bath in cool water with a shampoo designed for fleas. If your dog has chewed his own skin, antibiotics might be sometimes necessary, depending on the severity of the problem.
+Bacteria: Bacterial allergies is usually identified by red blotches, pus pockets or hair loss and skin formation that looks like ringworm. Sometimes, bacteria allergies are secondary to other problems the dog may have such as parasitism or hormonal disorders.
+Contact Allergy: The symptoms of contact allergies are very similar to flea and bacteria allergies symptoms. The main cause for contact allergies is the dog coming into contact with any kinds of allergens. Anything from the bedding, chemicals and plants, or household cleaning products can bring on contact allergies. There are many different treatment methods including using a certain kind of shampoo, a prescribed oral form of steroids, and any natural treatments like omega-3.
+Atopy(Airborne Allergy ): Atopy allergies start with itching, biting or hair loss and face rubbing. Some other symptoms may be papules, that are small red bumps, or pustules, that are small pimple-like lesions. Atopy allergies are usually caused by fleas, but can also be caused by airborne and chemical.
Dog Allergies Treatment
+Anti-inflammatory therapy: Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids and antihistamines, will easily block the allergic reaction in many cases. Fatty acid supplements of the diet will improve the response to steroids and antihistamines in some cases.
+Shampoo therapy: Frequent bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo may be soothing. The bathing can also rinse out allergens in the coat that could be absorbed through the skin. Some other therapeutic shampoos contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that may further benefit your dog.
+Hyposensitization therapy: If the specific offending antigens are identified by allergy tests, an allergy injection serum or "allergy shots" may be given to the patient. Using this treatment, small amounts of the antigen are injected weekly. Success rates vary with this treatment.  Approximately 50% of treated dogs will see significant improvement in their clinical signs while approximately 25% more will see a decrease in the amount or frequency or corticosteroid usage.

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