Monday, August 1, 2011

Canine Skin Allergies

Have you begun to see your dog itching and scratching excessively? Is the itching creating wide open wounds and disappearance of hair on your pet? If so, this is a sound warning sign that your pet may be distressed by dog allergies. Dogs do not display the characteristic reddened eyes and a watery nose the same way people do when we are dealing with an allergy. Additional warning signs might involve excessive scratching of a particular area, or gnawing of the paws causing them to bleed.

What Are The Causes of Canine Skin Allergies?

An allergy can occur when a dog's immune system excessively reacts to certain allergens. The body will then produce antibodies as a type of defense after the cause of the canine's allergy enters the body. These antibodies then connect to immune cells in skin and various organs of the body. Thus, as the allergens progressively break through tissue surfaces, the antibodies stimulate immune cells to exude strong substances (called histamines) into the neighboring tissue. This will then invoke irritation and dog itching.

There are several factors to think about when trying to pinpoint the source of skin allergies in dogs. An allergy that affects a canine's skin is generally triggered by at least one of these: food, airborne allergens, and fleas.

Flea Dermatitis otherwise known as Flea Allergy is frequently brought on by flea saliva. That is the reason it is extremely critical to relieve your dog of fleas frequently.

The atopic allergy is initiated by the breathing in of airborne allergens in the environment, consisting of pollen, dust, mold spores and tobacco smoke, instigate atopic allergies. If a dog is allergic to pollen, the dog will display signs, even when kept indoors as the particles will come into the home. Sneezing, coughing and wheezing generally are symptoms of this form of allergy.

Food allergies are the third most frequent form of dog allergy. The most probable causes for food allergies in dogs consist of: corn, milk, soy, chicken, eggs, beef and wheat. Nausea and diarrhea frequently accompany this variety of allergy in dogs.

Contact allergy is the least frequently seen type of allergy in pets and is brought on by contacting something. Triggers could include plastic, wool and grass. A few dogs might develop allergic reactions to certain chemicals in the household, however, it isn’t very common.

Identifying Canine Skin Allergies

A veterinarian might be able to identify the problem, however,although it may call for a procedure of elimination to find the root of the dog’s allergy and may possibly refer your dog to a veterinarian that’s a dermatologist. In the case where fleas are ruled out, the animal might be put on an elimination diet for a couple of months. The animal is given food he or she hasn’t eaten before, for example, duck, lamb, and potatoes, with the previous food being reintroduced in stages until the allergy reoccurs.

The allergen is believed to be one or more ingredients if the animals scratching subsides by about 50% of what it was earlier. When examining for contact and atopic allergies, veterinary dermatologists use an intradermal allergy test that functions by gently sedating the dog with minute quantities of prospective allergens that are injected into the shaved region. If the dog is allergic to a specific substance, the skin in the location of the injection will become inflamed.

Canine Skin Allergy Treatments

Keeping your pet away from allergens and taking care of the symptoms of allergies in dogs are the top methods of treatment. Medications that include steroids and antihistamines could be suggested to relieve the symptoms of itching and swelling in dogs, although like all medications they could be accompanied by unwanted side effects and the long-term effects are not known. Continued usage steroids is not recommended since these medications function by suppressing the immune system. Continued steroid use could eventually leave your pet defenseless against infections, diabetes and further disorders.

Natural Treatments for Canine Skin Allergies

Fortunately for pet lovers, there are lots of nontoxic and all-natural herbal and homeopathic remedies for skin allergies in canines. Althaea officinalis root is an excellent and commonly accepted remedy for restoring the skin while Melaleuca alternifolia commonly used as a topical to promote skin health and keeping the animal’s skin clean. Homeopathic remedies such as Apis and Ledum have wonderful healing qualities and are especially useful in healing reddened and itchy skin, or minor bites and wounds.

Resources for This Post: