Skin allergies in dogs can cause your pooch to become itchy, irritable, and uncomfortable. Our Stroudsburg vets give some insight into how allergic reactions can lead to symptoms - and what to do if you notice redness, itching, or other symptoms.
Skin Allergies in Dogs
Also known as allergic dermatitis, skin allergies are the most common type of allergies in dogs. A wide range of irritants can affect your pooch, causing him or her to itch.
The resulting discomfort and scratching can not only leave your pup in a poor mood, but the constant scratching can cause the skin to become irritated, inflamed, and vulnerable to other infections.
Fortunately, our Stroudsburg vets can offer some insight and advice on what concerned pup parents should do about dogs with allergies.
What causes skin allergies in dogs?
The top three factors that lead to skin allergies in canines are as follows:
Food allergies or sensitivities can afflict dogs, causing them to scratch their ears or paws. He or she may also display gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a combination of both.
There’s an important distinction to be made between food sensitivities and food allergies.
Food sensitivities (intolerances) are a gradual response to an individual ingredient, such as milk, beef, wheat, or chicken. Vomiting, diarrhea, itching, and other symptoms are just a few examples of the symptoms that can occur.
True food allergies trigger an immune response that can cause skin conditions such as hives and facial swelling.
Dust, mold, and pollen are examples of environmental allergens that can lead to atopic allergic reactions (atopic dermatitis). This category also includes seasonal allergies, which can be difficult to diagnose and localize because your dog may only exhibit symptoms during particular seasons or times of the year.
Analyze your dog's ears and paws for any signs of environmental allergies, just like you would with food allergies. Additionally, the area around the eyes, the muzzle, the underarms, the wrists, the ankles, and the space between the toes may reveal clues.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Some dogs will experience an allergic reaction to a flea's saliva, which can result in flea allergy dermatitis. Extremely itchy skin is a potential side effect of this condition, especially at the tail's base. Their skin may turn red, scab over, and become inflamed.
If your dog has fleas, this is a problem that can be taken care of with a number of treatments. Regularly inspect your dog for flea dirt (feces). Look closely enough and you may even notice these small, flightless external parasites.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
As mentioned above, skin allergies may cause a range of symptoms that can potentially include:
- 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, the problem is not only the discomfort and itching brought on by the allergic reaction but also the possibility of secondary infection. Yeast and bacterial infections can enter through sores when your dog bites, scratches, or licks at his skin in response to the itching. These might also require medical attention.
How To Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs
It’s best to book an appointment with your Stroudsburg vet to identify the culprit causing your dog’s symptoms and reactions. With our in-house lab and diagnostic services, we can offer an accurate and effective diagnosis of your pet’s condition.
We have easy access to any medications your pet may require while in our care thanks to the wide selection of medications and prescription diets that are kept on hand in our on-site pharmacy. Prescriptions for your pet can also be filled and renewed while you're here.
Following diagnosis, we can provide a custom treatment plan to help your dog heal. The cause and nature of your dog’s allergy, its location on the body, and other factors will determine treatment.
This treatment may include injectable, non-steroidal medications, medicated baths, laser treatments, and other options.
Whether an allergy, disease, or something else has caused your dog’s skin allergy, we can identify the cause and effective treatment, and help your pet feel more comfortable - and get you back to snuggling.
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 pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.