Has your dog been gnawing crazily on his paws, around the neck, or has teary, red eyes and sneezing incessantly? Dogs, too, have seasonal allergies as humans do, and they also experience discomfort. However, many times their symptoms go unnoticed. As a pet parent, you need to proactively identify any underlying signs of allergies in your four-legged babies for a simple reason that they can’t verbalize their discomforts other than a vehement woof-woof here and there asking for help.
How Can Allergies Affect Your Dog?
Allergies impact the immune system’s response. Generally, the immune system protects the pooches against any infection they may develop, but it detects the allergens as possible threats to the body in case of allergies. The immune system secretes hormones called histamines, leading to swelling, inflammation, and itching, which are why other signs of allergies surface like watery eyes, puffy lips, sneezing, etc.
So What’s Aggravating The Allergies?
Multiple factors lead to allergic reactions. Below are some common environmental allergens in dogs:
- Flea Saliva
- Food Allergies
This article will walk you through seasonal allergies in dogs. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned here, please contact your vet immediately for a proper investigation and treatment as anything may be causing allergies in your dog, from food to other environmental allergens.
Signs of Allergies To Look For Your In Pup
- Runny nose
- Watery Red Eyes
- Itchy Flaky Skin
- Ear Infections
- Hair Loss
- Smelly/Dirty Ears
- Shaking one or both the ears
- Respiratory Congestion
- Patchy Skin
- Licking Of Paws
Skin Allergies in Dogs
Environmental allergens are the leading cause of allergies in dogs. Pollens, mold, and dust are all environmental allergens. The American Kennel Club states that skin allergies are the most commonly found allergic reactions in dogs, causing atopic dermatitis. These are seasonal allergies, so you will only see your dog with irritable skin during specific times of the year and not throughout the year.
Paws and ears are generally the most affected areas; however, ankles, muzzle, groins, underarms, wrists, toes, and eyes may also be impacted. Skin allergies are generally not harmful, but there’s only one possible threat attached to them: secondary infections in the body. Dogs lick, bite the affected area to get a sense of relief, but that can make the condition worse and result in bacterial and yeast infections.
How To Differentiate Between Seasonal Vs. Food Allergies?
It can be challenging to differentiate between seasonal and food allergies. Typically seasonal allergies are associated with the specific times of the year and occur in spring or fall. On the contrary, food allergies may happen any time of the year. Sudden onset of symptoms after eating a possible triggering food is a common thing associated with food allergies. Additionally, if you have changed your dog’s food or the manufacturer has added a new ingredient to the dog food, there are high chances of your dog developing some irritability.
Diagnosing Seasonal Allergies
You can check your dog for seasonal allergies using an intradermal skin test. It is pretty similar to the testing method in humans. A minimal amount of allergens is injected under your pup’s skin to identify which allergen cause hives, information, and puffiness. Your vet will customize an immunotherapy shot or a serum injected into your dog’s body based on these results. Depending upon your dog’s allergies’ severity, your vet may suggest other clinical investigations and interventions.
How to Comfort Your Four-Legged Baby?
If your paw babies have ongoing symptoms, and you are worried about their discomforts, it is always better to take them for a physical examination to a vet. It is challenging to identify and remove the allergens that trigger allergies entirely in case of seasonal allergies.
Reaching out to your vet in case of severe allergies is the best option. The vets usually prescribe Cytopoint, Apoquel, Prednisone, or some other anti-yeast medication and antibiotics for secondary infections.
Some Do’s And Don’ts
- Remember that giving an antihistamine like Benadryl to your dog may either cause drowsiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. Every dog reacts differently to Benadryl.
- Do check the ingredients if you are buying over-the-counter medicines. It shouldn’t contain pseudoephedrine which is not safe for dogs.
- Dosage for humans and dogs is not the same, so always consult your vet before introducing any over-the-counter -counter medicine to your furry baby.
- Bathing regularly with hypoallergenic shampoos can help clean allergens like grass and pollen that your dog may have caught while strolling outdoors.
- NASC recommends giving your pooch fatty acid supplements to reduce itchiness, soothe the flaky skin, and subsides irritations.
The onset of symptoms like persisting sneeziness, itchy and flaky skin, scratching and shaking ears, biting or scratching paws, licking anus or any other affected area, watery and red eyes are some of the most common symptoms of allergies in dogs. It is better to consult your vet before it worsens. You may give some over-the-counter medicines to relieve them. However, it is always better to consult your vet to be on the safer side.