ALLERGIES IN DOGS

Allergies can be a source of great frustration and discomfort among humans. But in those who don’t speak our language, like dogs, allergies can be extremely irritating. Certain behaviour like licking, scratching, chewing at themselves, and shaking their heads to relieve itchy ears are some of the common indications that your dog may have allergies. Much like human beings, dogs can also be allergic to the same allergens. They suffer from seasonal allergens like fleas, mold and pollen from vegetation. Non-seasonal allergens like dust mites or feathers can also affect dogs.

In the case of seasonal allergies, giving your pet regular treated baths and medicated rinses with good quality soothing shampoos can be beneficial. Getting your pet groomed by well-trained groomers is also an effective method of combating allergies. Your veterinarian can also prescribe specific medication for your pet to help with the condition(s).

In the case of frequent and / or persistent allergies, visiting a veterinary dermatologist is highly recommended. The specialist can run special tests to determine the cause, like a blood test and / or an intradermal test (skin prick test). This is useful due to the fact that the majority of dogs are sensitive to more than one allergen and a special allergy vaccine can be developed accordingly. This vaccine can then be administered in small proportions until the allergies subside.

Allergies caused by environmental factors like dust mites, molds, pollen from trees, plants, shrubs, and flowers, fleas and even cats, are now referred to as allergic dermatitis. It is however, a complex condition and will require an elaborate treatment plan. Antihistamines, antibiotics and anti-yeast medications are effective in mitigating itching and curbing secondary infections in your pet respectively. Allergy shots are also quite helpful as they work to build your dog’s immune system against the allergen(s).

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