Have you begun to notice your dog scratching and itching excessively? Is the scratching causing exposed wounds and disappearance of hair on your dog? If so, this is a sound indication that your canine might be suffering from dog allergies. Dogs do not have the characteristic red eyes and a watery nose like we do when we are dealing with an allergy. Additional warning signs could include excessive licking of a specific area, or gnawing of the paws until they bleed.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

An allergic reaction occurs when an animal's immune system overreacts to specific substances. The body will then manufacture antibodies as a type of protection after the trigger of an allergy passes into the body. The antibodies then connect to immune cells in the skin and various organs of the body. So, when the allergens progressively infiltrate the tissue, the antibodies prompt immune cells to discharge virulent substances (referred to as histamines) into the nearby tissue. This will then cause swelling and dog itching.
There are several things to take into account when trying to pinpoint the root of skin allergies in canines. An allergy which affects a canine's skin is generally brought on by at least one of these: airborne particles, fleas, and food.

Flea Dermatitis also known as Flea Allergy is frequently brought about by the saliva of the flea. This is why it is especially important to rid your dog of fleas regularly.

An atopic allergy is triggered by the inhaling of airborne allergens in the environment, like pollen, mold spores, tobacco smoke and dust, instigate atopic allergies. If a dog has pollen allergies, the pet will exhibit warning signs, even if kept in the house as the allergens will come inside. Coughing, wheezing and sneezing generally are symptoms of this sort of allergy.

Food allergies are the third most common form of dog allergy. The most likely reasons for food allergies in dogs include: milk, chicken, corn, soy, beef, eggs and wheat. Vomiting and diarrhea generally go along with this sort  of dog allergy.

Contact allergy is the least seen sort of allergy in dogs and is triggered by coming into contact with something. Triggers may include grass, plastic and wool. A few dogs can suffer from allergic reactions to specific chemicals in the household, but this isn’t very common.

Identifying Dog Allergies

A veterinarian should be able to identify the problem, though it may require a system of elimination to identify the source of the skin allergy and could even refer the dog to a veterinarian dermatologist. In the event where fleas are ruled out, the animal could be put on an elimination food regimen for a few months. The dog is given food it has not eaten before, such as poultry, veal, and potatoes, with the old food being reintroduced in stages until the allergy returns.
The allergen is considered to be one or more ingredients if the dogs scratching is decreased by about one half of what it was before. When checking for contact and atopic allergies, vets use an intradermal allergy examination that works by slightly tranquilizing the animal with small quantities of possible allergens that are injected into the skin on the shaved section. If the animal is allergic to a particular substance, the skin will become inflamed surrounding the area of injection.

Treatments for Skin Allergies in Dogs

Keeping the dog away from allergens and treating the symptoms of dog allergies are the soundest approaches to treatment. Remedies such as antihistamines and steroids are often advocated to alleviate effects of scratching and inflammation in pets, but like all drugs they can be accompanied by risky side effects and the long-term effects are still undetermined.

Extensive treatment using steroids is not recommended for these treatments work by suppressing the immune system. Extensive steroid use may eventually leave your dog vulnerable to diabetes, infections and further conditions.

Natural Remedies

Fortunately for dog owners, there are a lot of safe and natural remedies for skin allergies in dogs. Melaleuca alternifolia commonly applied as a topical to stimulate healthy skin and keeping your pet’s skin clear while Althaea officinalis root is an outstanding and well known treatment for reinvigorating the skin. Homeopathic treatments such as Ledum and Apis have terrific healing qualities and are particularly beneficial in soothing swollen and irritated skin, or small bites and sores.

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