Your dog may become itchy, irritable, and uncomfortable as a result of skin allergies. Our Rabun County veterinarians explain how allergic reactions can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, as well as what to do if your dog develops red, itchy skin, or other symptoms.
Skin Allergies in Dogs
The most common types of allergies in dogs are skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. Your dog can be irritated by a variety of things, causing him or her to scratch. The resulting discomfort and scratching can make your dog unhappy and scratch all the time. Scratching repeatedly can make the skin irritated, inflamed, and vulnerable to infection. The good news is that your veterinarian can help if your dog has skin allergies.
What causes skin allergies in dogs?
These are the three most common causes of skin allergies in dogs:
Dogs, like people, can suffer from a variety of food allergies or sensitivities. Food allergies in dogs can cause scratching at the ears or paws, or gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or a combination of the two.
However, there is a significant difference between food sensitivities and food allergies. Food sensitivities (intolerances) are a long-term reaction to a particular ingredient, such as milk, beef, wheat, or chicken. Chronic foot or ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, itchiness, and other symptoms are all possible. True food allergies cause an immune response that results in hives and facial swelling on the skin.
Atopic allergic reactions can be triggered by allergens in the environment, such as dust, mold, and pollen (atopic dermatitis). Seasonal allergies are another example of this, and they can be difficult to diagnose and pinpoint because your dog may only show symptoms during certain seasons or times of the year. Examine your dog's ears and paws for signs of environmental allergies, just as you would for food allergies. Clues can also be found around the eyes, muzzle, underarms, wrists, ankles, and in the spaces between toes.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
A flea's saliva causes an allergic reaction in many dogs, which can lead to flea allergy dermatitis. This condition can cause extremely itchy skin, especially near the tail's base. Their skin may become red, scabbed, and inflamed. If your dog has fleas, several treatments can be used to eliminate the problem. Check your dog for flea dirt regularly (feces). You might even notice these small, flightless external parasites if you look closely enough.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Dog skin allergies can result in a variety of symptoms including:
- Red, irritated or flakey skin
- Scooting or rubbing on surfaces
- Hair loss
- Rubbing of face or ears
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Chewing or biting the skin
When it comes to severe skin allergies in dogs, it's not just about the discomfort and itching that comes with the allergic reaction; there's also the possibility of a secondary infection developing. When your dog bites, scratches, or licks his skin to relieve itching, yeast, and bacterial infections can enter through sores and cause infections.
How to Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs
Skin allergies in dogs can be treated in a variety of ways, depending on how severe they are. It's best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the source of your dog's symptoms and reactions. Following the diagnosis, your veterinarian will devise a personalized treatment plan to help your dog's skin condition improve and heal.
The best treatment for your dog will be determined by the cause and nature of the allergy, its location on the body, and other factors. Injectable, non-steroidal medications, medicated baths, laser treatments, and other options can be used to treat skin allergies in dogs.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your dog's condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian.