Types Of Skin Allergies In Dogs
- Canine atopy or atopic dermatitis: Atopic allergic reactions in dogs, caused by one or more environmental factors, are very common. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to otherwise harmless substances like pollen, dust mites or mold. Your dog might even have seasonal allergies.
- Flea allergy dermatitis:Fleas can bite your dog and cause a lot of itching and skin discomfort, otherwise known as flea allergy dermatitis. But your dogs reaction is to the fleas saliva, not the flea itself. You may notice redness or hair loss at the base of your dogs tail, or notice flea dirt or fleas in their fur.
- Food allergies or sensitivity: True food allergies are less common in dogs however, if your dog is experiencing a food allergy, they may have itchy, red skin and, less commonly, gastrointestinal signs.
- Severe allergic reactions: Although uncommon, dogs can experience a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite, food protein, medication or vaccine. This type of allergic response can be fatal and requires immediate action and treatment. If you ever notice sudden onset of distress, swelling of the face or muzzle, or breathing difficulty in your dog, seek emergency veterinary care right away.
At Home Therapy Options For Skin Infections In Your Dog
Topical therapy is recommended for all dogs with bacterial skin infections. Bathing with a medicated shampoo helps to reduce scales, crusts and grease and also is an antiseptic for the skin. Some of the most effective medicated shampoos use 2-4% chlorhexidine such as Douxo Chlorhexidine PS shampoo.
If you are trying to use topical therapy alone to treat a skin infection, this is best achieved by bathing your dog daily . If you cannot bathe your dog daily, then there are chlorhexidine mousses or sprays available. For example, Duoxo Chlorhexidine mousse and Douxo chlorhexidine spray can be used with the shampo. Duoxo recommends specific protocols that pair the use of Douxo shampoo with either the mousse or spray.
How To Treat Skin Allergies In Dogs
If your dog shows any signs of allergies, schedule a visit with your vet to confirm a diagnosis. Your vet will provide more detailed information about your dogs specific case and symptoms and offer in-home treatment ideas to help manage the issue.
If your dog has flea allergy dermatitis, flea prevention is critical. These parasites can become quite a nuisance to you and your dog. Keep them at bay with regular preventive treatment.
Skin allergies can make your dog itchy and miserable, so its important to seek a vets advice if you notice any signs. By working with your vet to try to identify the cause of your dogs skin allergy, you can help make them feel better and more comfortable.
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How Can I Treat My Dogs Skin Allergy At Home
Unfortunately, dogs are not small humans, and allergy medications, such as antihistamines, that give us relief from allergies are not typically effective in dogs. Bathing with soothing shampoos and ensuring your dog is protected from fleas can be helpful.
What dog food is best for skin allergies? Are there home recipes that would work well?
Food is only a concern for dogs with true food allergies, though there are supplements that may help dogs with other skin conditions, such as Omega-3 fatty acids. In food allergic dogs, you must keep the offending allergen out of the dogs diet. This is most easily accomplished by feeding commercially prepared nonallergenic or novel protein diets. If you desire to cook for your dog at home, make sure you are offering a complete and balanced diet. I recommend utilizing the board-certified veterinary nutritionists at www.BalanceIt.com for formulation.
What should you avoid if your dog has skin allergy issues?
The first step to preventing skin issues in dogs is finding out what skin issue your dog suffers from. Then, there are preventative measures, such as flea control, food, supplements, and medications that can keep the issue under control.
If your dog is prone to skin issues, you should make sure to:
- keep them clean at all times
- keep them well-groomed
- avoid certain areas and activities, such as dense grass or swimming, if they affect your dogs allergies.
Can you treat skin allergy bumps and rashes without going to the vet?
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Both the labradoodle and the bichon frise are often recommended for people with dog allergies because of their easy-to-maintain coats. Labradoodles with wool-like hair may not pick up as many outdoor allergens as other breeds. The curly coat of a bichon frise produces little dander, making it another great hypoallergenic dog.
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Treatment For Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs
One of the first steps is eliminating or reducing exposure to the environmental allergens causing the skin allergy. If you cant identify the specific irritant, use a process of elimination by removing the environmental factors that have the potential to trigger an outbreak.
However, with environmental allergies it may not be possible to avoid the allergen entirely. If your dog suffers from indoor or outdoor allergies, our veterinarians can prescribe an allergy relief medication to help relieve symptoms.
1. Allergen Control
One of the most common causes of Atopic Dermatitis are environmental allergens from dust mites and pollens. Dust mites in the home are the most common allergens in dogs. Fleas, grasses and mold are also sources, but tend to play lesser roles.
5 pet-friendly tactics you can use to reduce exposure to allergens in your home:
3. Allergen Immunotherapy
Skin Issues In Dogs By Breed
Dog breed can also provide some clues when it comes to skin conditions, particularly in purebred dogs. Since these dogs are bred for certain traits, they also tend to pass on the same undesirable traits, including skin disease. Disease is also passed on genetically through line or in-breeding when a small stud population is used for breeding. Dog skin problems can be limited to one litter, one breed, or could be seen across certain breeds. Some of the more common breed specific canine skin diseases and conditions are described below:
BreedSpecific Diseasesand Conditions Canine Skin
Treatment involves the use of retinoids , but only of some benefit.
Some veterinarians see potential in the use of the topicalmedication immune modulator imiquimod and the NSAID diclofenac gel.
There is a risk of a dog relapsing if there is continuedsun exposure. Dogs need to be re-examined every 6 months.
If a lesion becomes cancerous thensurgical removal is required.
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Seasonal Allergy Versus Food Allergy In Dogs
The two most common causes for skin itching and infection in dogs are seasonal allergies and food allergies. Just like there are a lot of people that suffer from allergies, there are a LOT of dogs who suffer from allergies too. While human allergies show up as nasal congestion and sneezing, your dogs most common allergy symptoms are itchy skin, hair loss and skin/ear infections.
If youre looking for an over the counter product to combat your dogs regular bouts of itching, skin infections, dandruff and dry coat, try Dermoscents Essential 6 fatty Acid Pipettes. These are pipettes that you apply to your dogs skin weekly for 2 months. They are available on Amazon and have rave reviews.
If your dog is having these symptoms, how do you know what they are reacting to?
A lot of people assume that food is the culprit for their dogs itchy skin and hair loss. However, food allergy occurs in less than 5% of dogs and cats with skin disease and accounts for only 10-25% of pets with allergic skin disease. However, dogs with seasonal allergies are at higher risk for ALSO developing food allergies.
Environmental Dog Skin Allergy And Dogs Withseasonal Allergies
About 1 in 10 dogs get sometype of canine skin allergy from substances in the air. Allergies tend to appearduring certain times of the year when specific types of allergens suchas pollen, ragweed and mold arepresent.
- Weed Pollen Late summer and fall
- Tree Pollen March and April
- Grass Pollen May, June, July
Certain breeds have a higherincidence of canine atopy including:
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Environmental Allergies And Allergic Dermatitis
Allergies to substances in the environment can manifest as skin lesions in dogs. In a dog that suffers from atopy, the dogs immune system overreacts to an airborne or contact allergen in their environment. This overreaction produces skin inflammation in the form of itchiness, redness, and heat. Excessive rubbing and irritation can lead to hair loss and the breakdown of the skin barrier which allows bacteria to set up secondary infections, resulting in further damage to the skin. Youll most often find allergic dermatitis on the lighter-haired parts of the body, such as the belly, groin, and armpit.
Atopy is best treated by determining the allergen and removing it from the environment. When this isnt possible, prescription allergy medications and anti-inflammatories are used.
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Dermatitis Photo Gallery:
Skin Allergies In Dogs: Vet’s Guide To Signs And Treatment
Itching, scratching, and hair loss learn how to beat these canine allergy symptoms
Is your pup incessantly itchy and scratchy? The presence of skin allergies in dogs is an uncommon but certainly uncomfortable condition that can occur at any age and in any breed.
While it may be tempting to try home remedies or over the counter medications to treat your dogs itching, these treatments rarely work and may even be harmful in some cases. Instead, its best to see your veterinarian to have the problem appropriately diagnosed and treated. From the selection of appropriate dog food for allergies to tackling environmental causes, read on to learn more about skin allergies in dogs and what you can do to help get your dog feeling better quickly.
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Veterinary Prescription Foods Are Either Hydrolyzed Or Novel
Special hydrolyzed diets contain proteins and carbohydrates that are broken down into very tiny pieces that are below the size capable of producing reactions.
The other prescription foods for food allergy offer novel proteins meaning protein sources that your dog has not already been exposed to such as lamb, venison, rabbit and even kangaroo.
An elimination diet trial should continue for at least 8 to 10 weeks. During this time, your dog would be fed exclusively a hypoallergenic diet .
Color Or Texture Change In Dog Skin
If your dog’s skin is changing color or texture, you may be worried about the cause. There can be a variety of reasons for this, from serious illnesses to benign conditions. Understanding the underlying cause is important in determining the most appropriate treatment for your dog. For example, if your dog has discolored skin from a parasitic infestation, it’s not a good idea to simply pill your dog without first addressing the infestation. The change can also happen by hormone conditions or metabolic issues. As veterinary medicine continues to advance, we’re able to offer more options in the treatment of illnesses, genetic conditions, and other issues affecting your dog. This is why it’s important to bring your pet to your local veterinarian, who will be able to provide the best possible care based on the results of their initial. The examination can be done with a simple blood test.
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Signs And Symptoms Associated With Skin Problems In Canines
It is important to regularly groom your pets to monitor their coat for underlying skin conditions and detect changes early. Some early signs of dog skin problems may include:
- Loss of coat luster
- Pustules, pimples of hair loss.
- Reddish swellings known as papules.
- Circular areas of crusty or scaly skin.
Remedies For Itchy Skin
Many products on the market can help relieve your dogs itchy skin. Here are some of our top picks. We recommend consulting with your vet before giving your dog any supplements or other home treatment to make sure theyre okay for your pup.
PetHonesty has various excellent dog allergy relief products, including allergy support chews, a skin allergy food topper, itch relief shampoo, and anti-scratch salmon oil. Their products contain natural ingredients with no fillers. PetHonestys facility is FDA-approved and Good Manufacturing Practices -certified with a Level 3 Safe Quality Food certification.
You may also want to consider King Kanines Anti-Itch Spray. This all-natural spray contains CBD oil , aloe vera, tea tree oil, chamomile, and colloidal silver to relieve itching and control skin inflammation. King Kanine manufactures it in an FDA and GMP-certified facility and they have independent testing to ensure quality, purity, and safety.
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How Is Atopic Dermatitis Diagnosed In My Dog
Diagnosing environmental allergies in dogs can be performed using two techniques: serologic testing or intradermal skin testing.
- Serologic testing: requires drawing a single blood sample to test a dogs response to environmental allergens. The blood sample is then submitted to a laboratory for analysis.
- Intradermal skin testing: A highly specialized and complex process, intradermal testing is this gold standard for diagnosing environmental allergies It involves injecting a small amount of a pure allergen under the skin and measuring the allergic response.
Are Skin Treatments Safe
If you use them correctly, yes. The Environmental Protection Agency says that using them wrong is a major cause of negative reactions. Common mistakes include treating a cat with a product meant for dogs, or using a large dog dose on a small dog. Check with your vet if you aren’t sure which dose is right for your pet.
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Why Is My Itchy Dog Costing Me A Fortune When I Can Easily Just Try Cortisone Instead
One of the most limiting and frustrating aspects of owning a dog with skin problems is the cost involved in preventative treatments, vet visits, diagnostics tests, prescription foods, shampoos, and medication.
Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of skin conditions, its not just as easy as giving a cheap cortisone tablet. Cortisone is a drug used sparingly as it has several adverse effects, especially if used chronically.
The key to getting your dog as healthy as possible is to rather focus on a long-term treatment plan instead of a short-term quick fix.
Does My Dog Have A Skin Infection
Minor itching and rashes from skin allergies can lead to more serious problems that require veterinary care. Often, dogs with skin allergies excessively scratch, lick, and chew at the affected areas, which can cause skin infections and hot spots. These conditions require vet-prescribed antibiotics. Learn more about how to spot the signs of a skin infection and hot spots.
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What Is An Allergy In Dogs
An allergy is a reaction caused by an element known as an allergen. It may be internal or externally triggered and could be unique to a specific dog or more commonly familiar across their breed, age or population.
The immune system responds to the allergen by overcompensating and reacting uncharacteristically to what should be an ordinary environmental or internal issue.
In short, allergies are a misdirected response to foreign substances by the bodys immune system.
Best: The Xloloitzcuintli Is A Good Fit For Families
Have you ever heard of the Xloloitzcuintli? Can you even pronounce it? Well help you out. Say it with us, show-low-eats-queen-tlee. Or you could just say Xolo for short.
These hypoallergenic dogs could be a good fit for families with a dog allergy. Some are hairless, while others have a very short coat. Either way, they dont need a lot of grooming, making them lower-maintenance than other breeds of dogs. The Xloloitzcuintli also happens to be one of the oldest, rarest types of dogs in the world.
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Treatment Of Dogs With A Canine Skin Allergy
Many Vets will prescribe an antihistamine to help with any dog skin itching. Popular types of antihistamineincludeDipehnhydramine ,hydroxyzine , clemastine and cetirizine 40% of dogs respond to this type of treatment.
Othertreatment options includes oral or topical antibiotics andanti-fungals. Shampoos and sprays may also be of help. If dogfood allergy is the cause, then a hypoallergenic food trial is used toidentify the problem ingredients. For seasonal allergy ,then medication which are immune modulating such as cyclosporine areprescribed.
If your dog does not respond to any of the canineskin allergy treatments suggested above, then a series ofallergy shots can be used to reduce sensitivity to the allergens. Thiscourse of treatment takes as few as 9 and as many as 12 months.
During recovery, dietary supplements might help to restoreskin condition, such as the omega fatty acids found in fishoil. Shampoos can also be tried to ease skininflammation and itch such as a product that contains colloidal oatmeal. Homeopathics that combine ingredientsassociated with skin and coat health such as Skinand Coat Tonic may also be of help.
It is common for a vet to request a return visit after several weeksto check on your dog’s progress.