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Dog Medicine to Treat Canine Allergies

29 9:28:08

ust like their owners, dogs can experience a series of unpleasant symptoms when exposed to certain natural substances. While harmless to most canines, these allergens can produce extreme reactions when ingested, inhaled, or contact the dog’s skin. Why do some dogs suffer from allergies and other do not?

Nobody knows for sure. Heredity plays a part and some breeds appear to be more allergy prone than others. However, any dog can be affected. In fact, the number of canines that suffer from allergies has risen in recent years. It is now estimated that as many as one in seven dogs are allergic to something. Skin allergies are now the number one reason for veterinary visits. What are they exactly?

Allergies are the result of an adverse reaction an animal’s immune system has to normally innocuous substances. Unlike humans who typically experience nasal or upper respiratory symptoms, the skin is the primary target of allergy symptoms in dogs. Our canine friends typically respond to these allergies by scratching, chewing, or licking the affected area.
Hypersensitivity to an allergen can produce either an immediate or delayed response. Canine allergies are separated into four groups: food allergies, flea allergies, contact allergies, and those that were caused by inhaled allergens. Let us take a moment to discuss them individually.

Food allergies

The main culprits behind the rise in canine food allergies in recent years are filler ingredients used in dog food. They are added to save money, but they can also cause a dog with a sensitive system to experience a severe allergic reaction. According to the experts, there is no link between these hypersensitivities and specific breeds.

If you can eliminate the other three causes of allergies, you can put your furry friend on an elimination diet. Keep track of everything she eats and slowly start removing foods until the offender is identified. Taking your dog to the vet for a blood test is another effective option.

Flea Allergies
All dogs are allergic to the proteins found in the saliva of fleas, but some are more allergic than others. A single bit can cause a serious irritation that my lead to inflammation and even skin infection if left untreated. These dogs will not stop scratching until the infestation has been eradicated.

Since it is such a common problem, there are countless medications, topical solutions, shampoos, and dog collars that combat these pesky parasites. It is, however, important to note that you should never try a new product out on a pet without consulting your veterinarian first. Some dogs have extremely sensitive skin and the harsh chemicals in some shampoos could actually exacerbate the problem.

Contact Allergies
And speaking of shampoos, they are the most common cause of contact allergies. The chemicals in them can act as irritants and may result in itchy red bumps and inflammation in areas where the skin is not well protect by hair, such as the stomach, nose, feet, chin, and stifles. An animal that suffers from these allergies will scratch at irritated areas incessantly in a vain attempt to achieve relief. Of course, they will only end up making the problem worse. The solution seems simple enough: stop using the shampoo! Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. In most cases, a dog will experience a delayed reaction to these chemicals, which makes it harder to identify them.

If you suspect that shampoos or other hair products are responsible for your animal’s allergies, have your doggy’s doctor look over the ingredients on the label. He may be able to spot the offender and recommend a more mild shampoo.

Inhalant Allergies
Also known as canine atopy, it occurs when dogs breathe in common airborne allergens, such as plant pollen, dust, molds, wool, or feathers. Unlike the other three forms of canine allergies, atopy is strongly linked to certain breeds. Because most of the offending allergens are present in much higher concentrations during the late summer and fall, dogs who suffer from them typically experience seasonal symptoms. In addition to scratching, licking, and biting at affected areas, they also experience upper respiratory symptoms, including sneezing, labored breathing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

There are several effective treatments when airborne allergens are the issue. Your furry friend may benefit from allergy shots, which will help him build up a resistance to the allergen, instead of simply treating the symptoms. The only downside is that these injections must be administered several times a year and they can be quite expensive. People who are living on a fixed budget, as many elderly dog lovers do, may not be able to afford them.
One simple and inexpensive way to deal with canine allergies is to vacuum and clean your house at least once a week. Dust is a common culprit and getting rid of it may make life more comfortable for your canine friend. It is also important to bath you dog at least once a week. This may help alleviate itching by removing environmental allergens from his coat and skin. There are also antihistamines, which must be prescribed by your veterinarian.