How Are Dog Food Allergies Diagnosed
Diagnosing food allergies in dogs isnt always a straightforward process. Its not like theres a simple test that can instantly tell what your dog is allergic to or, if indeed, he has food allergies at all.
You have to start at the beginning, with the help of your veterinarian, to know for sure whether your dogs skin or ear issues are caused by food allergies.
What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies That Works
Symptoms like constant itchiness and excessive scratching, inflamed skin, hot spots, skin odor, and hair loss are often caused by allergies. Environmental allergies and seasonal allergies, flea allergies, and food allergies could be behind your dog’s symptoms.
Still wondering, What can I give my dog for allergies? Talk to your veterinarian about the best route. Options include:
- Over-the-counter medication like Benadryl or Claritin given in a dog-safe dose
What Is A Dog Allergy
According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 69 million households in the United States owned dogs from 2021 to 2022.
Pet allergens circulate in the air, including in areas with no pets. In people with a dog allergy, it is not the dog that triggers the allergic reaction but the proteins trapped in their fur. These allergens are present in dogs dander, which are dead skin cells, as well as their saliva and urine.
Different dog breeds may have different dog allergens, and people may develop allergies to some breeds but not others. Hypoallergenic dogs may cause fewer symptoms in people allergic to dogs because they shed less.
A person who believes they have a dog allergy may consider visiting an allergist. Allergists are healthcare providers who can help diagnose a persons allergies and provide a specific treatment that suits their symptoms.
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Types Of Dog Allergies
Generally, allergies in dogs are categorized into three groups: environmental allergies, food allergies, and flea allergies.
Environmental allergies, sometimes called seasonal allergies, involve allergic reactions to things like pollen, mold, dirt, or dust. In other words, things dogs come across in their environment, perhaps seasonally.
Food allergies are also relatively common, affecting about 10% of all dogs. When a dog has a food allergy, the immune system is reacting to an allergen thats an ingredient in their dog food. Beef, chicken, dairy, soy, and wheat are common offenders.
Last but not least is flea allergy dermatitis . A dog with FAD reacts to a protein in flea saliva, which causes intense itchy skin and excessive scratching.
Whether it’s environmental or related to a dietary ingredient or a flea infestation, your dog’s allergies will cause some noticeable symptoms. Symptoms of environmental allergies include:
- Excessive itchiness and associated scratching, licking, and chewing
- Red, inflamed skin
- Excessive dandruff
Talk to your vet if you notice these symptoms of allergies. Your dog may need to undergo allergy testing so that treatment can start. Here’s the good news: Dog allergies are treatable.
Why Dogs Suffer From Allergies
If your dog suffers from allergies like Zachory did, there are solutions! But before we jump into treatment options, its important to understand why allergies happen in the first place.
Uncovering the role mast cells play in allergies
In humans, the cells that mediate allergiescalled mast cellsare predominantly located in the upper respiratory tract, which also happens to be the location that most of our seasonal allergy symptoms center around. However, for our canine companions, this is not the case.
In dogs, the allergy-mediating mast cells live in high concentrations in the skin. Thus, dogs are more likely to have seasonal allergy symptoms that center around the skin and ears.
Mast cells are a type of white blood cell that is made in the bone marrow then travels to the tissues of the body . They help protect the body against foreign invaders.
Mast cells look very distinct under a microscope. They are filled with tiny granules which contain several active substances, the most well known of which is histamine. Dont forget about histamine because it will come into play when we look at allergy therapies namely antihistamines.
When mast cells sense something they see as a potential threatin this case an allergen, like pollenthey become activated and start degranulating. This is the process of dumping the granule contents into the surrounding tissue. A chain of events ensues which summons the rest of the immune system army and causes allergy symptoms.
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Essential Oils For Dogs
Essential oils are plant-based extracts that are used as holistic medicines. Although they are not scientifically proven to help, many people swear by using essential oils to alleviate their dogs allergies.
Basil, ginger, and rosemary are used as anti-inflammatories! Lemongrass, citronella, and rosemary can help with keeping insects away.
Thyme, lemon, and peppermint can ease respiratory symptoms. Peppermint, chamomile, and lavender can soothe skin reactions. Only use diluted, therapy-grade essential oils on your dog!
Some essential oils are dangerous to dogs, and should always be avoided. These include tea trees, camphor, and pennyroyal. Always check whether an essential oil is poisonous to dogs before commencing treatment.
Can I Give My Dog 5mg Of Xyzal
The recommended dosage of Xyzal for dogs is 0.05 mg per lb given by mouth once daily. Dogs weighing less than 20 lbs may be given 1 mg of Xyzal once a day, while the proper dosage for dogs weighing more than 20 lbs should be calculated accordingly. But just to answer your question, if your dog weighs 100 pounds, then yes, you can give your dog 5mg of Xyzal.
The weight is important for allergy medications in dogs because it helps determine the dosage that will be most effective for your dog. The heavier your dog, the more medication they will need to take.
Xyzal can be used for dogs. However, it is important to note that the dosage for dogs may be different than the dosage for humans. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to a dog.
Xyzal may help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with allergies in dogs, such as itching and sneezing. If your dog is experiencing severe allergy symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care. Xyzal can be used as part of a treatment plan prescribed by a veterinarian.
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Dosage Of Benadryl For Dogs
The best way to determine the correct Benadryl dosage for dogs is to consult your veterinarian. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends administering 2-4 milligrams of Benadryl per kilogram of body weight, two to three times a day. However, this dosage can vary depending on your dogs medical conditions.
Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer, warns that you should always consult with a veterinarian before giving Benadryl to a puppy because young puppies can be very sensitive to certain medications. The drug is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing dogs
Never use time-release capsules for dogs, as capsules are absorbed differently in dogs than in humans and may affect your dogs dosage. They may also break open when chewed and deliver too much medication at one time, putting your dog at risk of an overdose.
Its best to avoid using liquid Benadryl if it contains sodium, which can cause other side effects. Also avoid any form of Benadryl that contains alcohol.
Childrens Benadryl pills or tablets can be used safely if you ask your veterinarian for the appropriate dosage.
Diagnosing Allergies In Dogs From Dog Allergy Testing And More
Diagnosing dog allergies can be very tricky, and should always be done in consultation with your veterinarian. The type of allergy testing used to find the allergen depends on the type of allergic reaction, and the suspected allergen.
This can differ greatly depending on the lifestyle, breed, and age of the dog.
Blood tests and pin-prick tests are used to narrow down potential environmental allergens, while parasitic allergens are usually easily identified on the dogs coat.
Food allergies should always be tested using an exclusion diet, as no other method has proven reliable.
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What Causes Allergies In Dogs
Your dog may be exposed to the allergens through her food, insect bites, inhaling pollen or fungal spores, or even from brushing up against or lying down on a particular surface.
When your dog is exposed to an allergen, it triggers an immune response that leads to the release of histamines. Histamines are naturally occurring chemicals in your body, but too many of them can cause your dog a lot of discomfort, including inflammation, itching, and swelling. Depending on the source of the allergen and the severity and location of the response, the inflammation can cause a wide variety of symptoms in the affected dog.
Allergies can affect dogs of any age, breed, or mix. Some allergies are inherited, so allergies and other immune disorders in relatives are always a good thing to ask about when getting a puppy from a breeder.
Your dog can also develop allergies later in life as her immune system becomes sensitized to a particular allergen and starts to overreact to repeat exposures. Allergies often appear as a young adult. And as if all of this isn’t bad enough, your dog can also be allergic to more than one thing.
What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs
In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized . In some cases, the symptoms involve the respiratory system, with coughing, sneezing, and/or wheezing. Sometimes, there may be runny discharge from the eyes or nose. In other cases, the allergic symptoms affect the digestive system resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
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Immunotherapy: The Gold Standard In Treating Environmental Allergies In Dogs
When it comes to treating environmental allergies in dogs, the gold standard is immunotherapy. Similar to allergy shots in people, this treatment works by slowly exposing the dogs immune system to the allergen until the immune system no longer reacts to it.
The immunotherapy is given as an injection under the skin once every one to three weeks or as a medication that is given under the tongue every 12 hours.
Benefits of immunotherapy as an allergy medication for dogs
There are many benefits of immunotherapy. Instead of suppressing the immune system, the treatment is directly targeted to the allergens that specifically trigger that dogs immune system. A skin test or blood test is used to determine which allergens are a problem for that dog, and the immunotherapy is customized based on that information.
Between 50% to 80% of dogs on immunotherapy show improvement in allergy symptoms after a year of treatment.
Downsides to immunotherapy as a medication for dogs with allergies
There are some downsides to immunotherapy. First, because the immune system is being stimulated instead of suppressed, there is a low risk of a serious allergic reaction. Second, therapy is a lengthy process, usually taking between six to 12 months. B ecause no standard protocol exists, results can vary, and dogs may need to remain on immunotherapy for the rest of their lives to maintain control of their environmental allergies.
The bottom line on immunotherapy for dogs with environmental allergies
Testing For Dog Allergies
Your doctor can do either a skin test or a blood test that will detect allergen-specific IgE to find out if you have dog allergies. Even if you’re pretty certain that you’re allergic, testing is always a good idea. Some people who assume that they have dog allergies turn out not to have them. Instead, they’re allergic to the pollen or mold that the dog is carrying in on its coat from outside.
While allergy tests are helpful, they’re not always conclusive. So if you own a dog, your doctor might want you to try living without it for a while to see how you do. To get a good sense of your symptoms, it might take some extended time apart. It often takes months before the level of dander in the house drops down to a level resembling that of a house without a dog.
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* Consult An Allergist
If all other alternatives fail to help your allergic reactions, it may be time to book a consultation with an allergist who can prescribe an antihistamine to help with your dog allergies.
A daily dose of allergy medications may help alleviate your allergies, but you will still need to try and limit your contact as allergy medications dont always solve the problem 100%.
Allergies Caused By Fleas And Parasites
Almost every dog will get fleas, ticks, mites, or other parasites at some point in its life. Usually, these parasites are easily removed, and the dog will not have an adverse reaction. However, some pets will develop allergies, mainly relating to biting parasites. It is typically the parasites saliva that causes the allergic reaction in dogs.
Flea bite hypersensitivity in dogs will cause extreme itching and discomfort to your pet, this is known as flea bite dermatitis or pruritus. Symptoms and signs include:
- excessive scratching
- allergy dermatitis
Occasionally asthma or breathing difficulties may be associated with dog food allergies. Due to the wide range of symptoms that can indicate a food intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity, they can be difficult to diagnose.
This process should be left to a veterinarian. The symptoms of food allergies can also indicate other diseases or conditions, so make sure to rule out other causes.
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Is My Dog Making My Asthma Worse
Dog lovers should be aware that canines can trigger asthma symptoms when they shed their dander. Thankfully, there are things you can do to limit asthma attacks caused by the family pooch. This could involve managing your close contact with the dog, keeping the dog out of your bedroom, and keeping your home well ventilated.
What Can I Give My Dog For Allergies Remedies That Really Work
Your dog is constantly itchy, scratching and chewing themselves to the point of hair loss. You’ve noticed red, inflamed skin, and perhaps a funky odor coming from your pet. It seems like they have more dandruff than usual.
Symptoms like these often have one common cause: allergies. And allergy symptoms are more than a nuisance. If not dealt with, allergies can have serious side effects like skin infections, permanent hair loss, or digestive issues.
Asking yourself, What can I give my dog for allergies? If you think your dog has allergies, it’s best to set up an appointment with your veterinarian to get your pooch examined. The first step will be to rule out other possible causes of your dog’s symptoms, like parasites or insect bites, and diagnose an allergic reaction. Working together, you can set up a treatment plan that includes one or more of the methods described below.
Let’s take a look at different types of dog allergies and how to help your four-legged friend.
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Environmental Changes To Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms In Dogs
As discussed in the section on the types of allergies, there are often multiple factors contributing to flare ups , which gives opportunity for various avenues of control. Treatments that can work synergistically with allergy medicine for dogs to help reduce symptoms include:
In addition to spreading diseases like Bartonella, fleas can contribute to allergy flare-ups in dogs. If your dog is flea allergic, all it takes is the saliva from the one bite of a flea to trigger an allergic flare-up.
Therefore, it is important to keep your dog on year-round flea prevention. Flea preventatives come in oral and topical treatments. Please talk with your veterinarian about which preventative is best for your dog.
Medicated shampoo for dogs
Medicated shampoos can be used to treat fungal and bacterial infections as well as reduce the number of allergens that build up in your dogs fur. Most protocols involve bathing your dog one to two times per week and letting the shampoo sit for a contact time of 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Talk with your veterinarian about which shampoos and bathing frequency would be best for your dog.
Also, simply wiping a dogs body and paws down with a cold, wet washcloth after being outdoors will remove allergens from the coat and can help reduce allergy symptoms for dogs with environmental allergies.
Vacuuming/washing pet beds
Bottom line on environmental changes for dogs with allergies
Is Xyzal Good For Dog Allergies
If your dog is experiencing allergies, you may be wondering if Xyzal is a good option. Xyzal is an antihistamine that can be used to treat allergies in both humans and dogs. While it is not specifically approved for use in dogs, many vets recommend it as an effective treatment.
Xyzal can be used to treat a wide variety of allergy symptoms in dogs, including sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itchiness. It is important to note that Xyzal will not cure your dogs allergies, but it can help to provide relief from the symptoms.
Xyzal is an antihistamine that is used to relieve symptoms of allergies. The active ingredient in Xyzal is levocetirizine, which is a histamine blocker. Histamines are chemicals that are released by the body in response to allergens, and they cause symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and watery eyes. By blocking histamines, Xyzal can help to reduce these symptoms.
In addition to levocetirizine, Xyzal also contains excipients such as microcrystalline cellulose and crospovidone. Excipients are inactive ingredients that are used to bind, fill, or dissolve the active ingredient in a medication.
While Xyzal is generally considered to be safe and effective, it is important to speak with a veterinarian before giving your dog this medication. This is because Xyzal may interact with other medications, and it is not suitable for everyone.
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