There is a possibility the irritation your beloved pooch is displaying is due to dog skin allergies. This condition can make both pet and owner totally miserable with the uncontrollable itching. Here is what you should know about this situation.
Allergy symptoms are the result of the body's reaction to an allergen. The allergen triggers an excessive response by the immune system, which causes problems rather than correcting them. An allergen can be any number of different substances that may have been ingested, inhaled, or touched.
Itching is the most commonly recognized symptom of an allergy condition. There may also be sneezing, hair loss, changes in typical behavior, or hives. An average one in seven canines are believed to have allergies of some kind.
There are four categories for the allergies a dog can develop. The first is flea allergy dermatitis which as the name suggests is the result of an infestation of fleas. Atopic dermatitis is created from environmental allergens that are inhaled these would include substances such as molds, pollens, grass, and dust mites. Food allergies are on the rise, with pets becoming sensitive to things such as rice. Another form is called contact dermatitis which is the skin reaction associated with a topical irritant.
Of the four kinds of allergies, flea dermatitis is the most common. If you suspect fleas, use a flea comb to verify flea dander or the fleas themselves on your pet. In this case where fleas are the causative allergen, your pet develops a reaction to the saliva of the flea bite. The simple way to remedy this problem is to eliminate the pest from both the canine and the environment. This may include the need to treat the dog, the home, and the yard.
The skin irritation associated with allergen reactions may require treatment with antihistamines, steroids, or bathing in soothing shampoos. In extreme cases where there are sores involved it may require the administration of antibiotics either orally or topically. Your furry companion may also experience some hair loss which will need time to regrow.
Hives are one way in which allergic reactions manifest on the skin of your pet. These appear as raised wheals anywhere on the body including the face. Skin patches may cause the hair to rise up in the affected area. The eyelids of the dog may also swell at this time. Typically this type of reaction happens within about 30 minutes of being exposed to the allergen.
Hives are a common result of an insect sting or bite, and can happen after receiving an injection. Some topical solutions such as soaps or the insecticides used to control fleas will produce the itchy spots. When these skin eruptions peak and ebb regularly, it is due to something in the environment the dog is using.
It can be just as frustrating trying to pinpoint the cause of dog skin allergies as what humans undergo. This requires a period of trial and error in ruling out factors that contribute to the problem. When eliminating agents it can be a long and stressful time for dog and owner.