Saturday, December 25, 2010

Skin Allergies in Dogs: Types, Causes and Symptoms

The skin is very sensitive to allergies and irritation. This is not only true for humans, though. Dogs may also develop skin allergies. It may not be common knowledge, but dog allergies can be triggered by a lot of various objects in the environment. In order to know more about the harm that the surroundings can cause your favorite canine, let us look deeper into dog skin allergies.

There are several kinds of dog allergies which are classified according to the substance that caused them. Contact allergies, food allergies, inhalant allergies, and flea allergies - these are all problems of a dog especially because of the insufferable itching that they cause. Whichever form of allergy it may be, it will definitely produce itching on a dog's body.

Contact allergies can be acquired by the simple skin contact of a dog to objects in the environment like grass, carpet, dust, plants, toxic chemicals, and the like. Usually, the more a dog is not exposed to that kind of object, the more severe the allergic reaction it can cause. Because of contact allergies, the skin of the dog may swell and become very itchy.

Food allergies are not uncommon because almost any substance can trigger an allergic reaction on a dog. This is the reason why dog food is very much advised and endorsed to dog owners. Foods like soy, beef, wheat, and yeast have very bad effects on the health of a dog. When a canine experiences food allergies, it exhibits itching and digestion problems.

Inhalant allergies are common for those who live in the more urban areas with a lot of pollution like smog, cigarette smoke, smoke from fires, and the like. But these aren't the only inhalant allergens. Air fresheners, dust particles, and pollen from flowers and plants can cause severe allergic reactions in most dogs.

Flea allergies are the most common of all. Although it is considered as a contact allergy, the bite of a flea is so prevalent an allergen to so many dogs, it has become a threat in itself. The saliva of a flea that it leaves on the skin of the dog is what causes the allergic reaction on the skin. The dog feels itchy and scratches and bites the affected area, worsening the problem.

When the skin of the dog is affected by an allergic reaction, whatever the cause of the allergy may be and wherever the allergen may have settled, the skin allergy may now be considered as allergic dermatitis. This is somewhat a complication of the initial allergic reaction. When a dog starts to gnaw, chew, lick, and scratch the itchy part of its skin, it starts to redden, swell. This allergic dermatitis is very difficult to treat, and in some cases, it may even last a lifetime.

Although dogs are animals, they can still be sensitive to certain objects and substances. Dog owners should not assume that their pets can endure anything, eat anything, and live in any kind of environment. As dog owners, we should be responsible and discover the needs of our pets in order to prevent any problems such as allergies to inflict them.

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