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Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
It’s not just us humans that struggle with itchy eyes, sneezing, and blocked noses during the wave of seasonal allergies. Dog allergies can also leave your pet in discomfort and pain. Unfortunately, your dog is unable to tell you when he or she is suffering from a specific dog allergy.
Make note to see if you notice a pattern? Does your pet only show signs of allergies during spring, summer, or autumn? If this is the case it could be the environmental allergens, or fleas, that are triggering your pet’s reaction. However, if these symptoms persist all year round, it could indicate the sensitivities may be linked to diet or the household environment.
This article will cover everything you need to know about allergies in dogs that can cause itchy skin, inflammation, various skin problems, and even indications of hair loss.
What are Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies refer to intense sensitivities found in natural environments, such as pollen or dust. These can trigger reactions from your pets.
Your dog’s immune system is there to protect them against harmful diseases and infections. However, a dog allergy can lead to the immune system damaging the body.
According to trusted Australian pharmacies, this happens when the body releases an excessive amount of histamines. These histamines fight the oncoming threat of allergies in dogs, while at the same time causing itching, swelling, and inflammation.
Common symptoms include:
- Head shaking
- Chewing/licking feet or underbody
- Dry dull coat
- Flaky skin
- Hot spots – red irritated areas
- Itchy on the base of the tail
- Hair loss
- Redness under legs
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
According to Pup Junkies, allergic reactions to seasonal dog allergies tend to be mild. In rare cases, some bodily responses can be quite severe. As a loving owner, you’ll spot straight away when your dog is showing signs of real discomfort.
The seasonal signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs include:
Scratching and/or Biting
This is the most characteristic sign of seasonal allergies in dogs. Due to spending a lot of time outside, dogs are prone to encountering pesky allergens.
When coming into contact with these allergens, they develop what research papers define as Canine Atopic Dermatitis. In short, this is a common, pruritic, and inflammatory skin disease.
You may find your dog scratching themselves and even biting to ease the pain. It’s a good idea to book in for a veterinary appointment to help ease your pets itch and discomfort.
Inflamed or Infected Skin
If your pet is left to scratch continuously with no treatment, the allergies will normally escalate. A dog can often scratch or bite itself until the skin is damaged and inflamed.
These hot-spot areas can be patches of dry, red, and inflamed skin. If these areas are not quickly treated the skin can become infected. These infections will require veterinary treatment and antibiotics to resolve.
Signs of Increased Shedding
Another common reaction to dog allergies can be an increase in shedding. If your dog is showing signs of shedding caused by scratching, it’s time to make an appointment with the vet.
Significant Increase in Paw Licking
Obsessively licking and biting of the paws can also indicate that your pet is suffering from allergies. If this is occurring, it could be a sign that the dog allergy is provoking allergic dermatitis. If your pet has common allergies, cleaning their paws regularly after outside adventures can help.
Dogs are prone to common types of ear infections. This is especially true for dogs with larger, floppy ears. Ear infections can also be a reaction to environmental allergens. This is normally a secondary symptom of a dog allergy. Look out for signs of:
- Physical discomfort.
- Shaking of the head.
- Red or flaky ears.
- Scratching of the ears.
Some dog allergies can also affect the respiratory system of your pet. These pets may sneeze more often and have watery eyes. You may even notice some runny discharge coming from either the nose or eyes.
Top Tips – Prevention
If your cat or dog typically suffers from spring allergies it’s a good idea to keep them inside on windy days, when mowing the lawn, or following rain when pollen counts quickly rise. Also consider increasing their omega intake in the form of fish oil, flaxseed, or evening primrose. Always speak to your vet before supplementing your pet’s diet. It’s also handy to remember that supplements can take up to six to eight weeks to work. Also feeding a quality and nutritionally sound diet is important for our itchy friends.
Photo by Joe Caione