Saturday, July 30, 2011

Skin Allergies in Canines

Have you started to find your dog itching and scratching excessively? Is the itching creating open wounds and disappearance of hair on your canine pal? If so, this is a sound sign that your canine may well be distressed by dog allergies. Dogs do not develop the standard blotchy eyes and a runny nose the same way we do when we are suffering with an allergy. Additional warning signs could involve extreme scratching of a specific area, or gnawing their paws until they bleed.

What Are The Causes of Allergies in Dogs?

An allergic reaction occurs when a dog's immune system excessively reacts to individual substances. The body will then create antibodies as a means of defense when the cause of the animal's allergy passes into the body. These antibodies will subsequently connect to immune cells in the skin and other body tissues. Therefore, as the allergens steadily breach the tissue, the antibodies prompt immune cells to release powerful chemicals (named histamines) into the surrounding tissue. This will then cause irritation and itching in your pet.

There are a number of factors to take into account when trying to discover the origin of dog allergies. An allergy which affects a pet's skin is typically brought on by one (or all) of the following: food, airborne allergens, and fleas.
  • Flea Dermatitis also known as flea allergies in dogs is usually brought on by saliva from a flea. That is the reason it is so critical to relieve your pet of fleas on a regular basis.
  • Atopic allergy is caused by the inhaling of airborne allergens in the atmosphere, including mold spores, pollen, dust and tobacco smoke, instigate atopic allergies. If a dog has pollen allergies, the dog will manifest signs, even when kept indoors as the particles will move into the home. Sneezing, coughing and wheezing often are symptoms of this type of allergy.
  • Food allergy is the next most frequent variety of dog allergy. The most likely culprits for food allergies in dogs are: corn, milk, chicken, soy, eggs, beef and wheat. Diarrhea and Vomiting generally are indicators of this type of allergy in dogs.
  • Contact allergies are the least diagnosed sort of allergy in pets and is caused by contacting with something. Triggers can include wool, grass and plastic. A few dogs might suffer from allergic reactions to particular chemicals in the house, but this isn’t very common.
How to Identify Dog Allergies

A veterinarian may be able to identify the problem, though it could require a system of elimination to discover the source of the dog’s allergy and may even refer your pet to a veterinarian who’s a skin specialist. In the event where fleas are ruled out, the animal could be put on an elimination diet for a couple months. Your pet is given food he or she hasn’t eaten in the past, such as turkey, venison, and potatoes, with the past food being brought back gradually until the allergy reappears.

The allergen is deemed to be at least one ingredient if the dogs scratching lessens by about one half of what it was before. When testing for atopic and contact allergies, vets use an intradermal allergy exam that functions by slightly anesthetizing the dog with slight amounts of potential allergens which are injected into the skin on the shaved area. If the animal is allergic to a particular substance, the skin close to the area of the injection will become inflamed.

Treating Dog Allergies

Keeping your dog away from allergens and treating the symptoms of dog allergies are the top approaches toward treatment. Drugs such as steroids and antihistamines are frequently advocated to relieve the symptoms of scratching and inflammation in pets, though like all medicines they could come with harmful side effects and the lasting effects are unknown. Prolonged treatment using steroids is not advocated as these medicines work by suppressing the immune system. Continued steroid use may eventually leave your pet open to infections, diabetes and further conditions.

Natural Remedies

Luckily for dog enthusiasts, there are plenty of nontoxic and natural herbal and homeopathic cure for skin allergies in dogs.

Althaea officinalis root is an excellent and well known remedy for repairing the skin while Melaleuca alternifolia can be used as a topical to promote skin health and keeping the animal’s skin clear. Homeopathic remedies for skin allergies in dogs that include Ledum and Apis have excellent soothing qualities and are notably useful in soothing reddened and itchy skin, or minute irritations and sores.

Additional Information Sources