Treating Allergies in Dogs
Your dog is more than your pet. They’re part of your family and require special care when it comes to allergies. Yes, dog allergies — including seasonal allergies — are real. At Village Vet of Urbana, we understand the complexities of each dog and how their immune systems can react to allergens in their environment, plants, and food.
Just like in humans, allergic reactions in dogs can appear in degrees ranging from coughing and sneezing to systemic anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, facial swelling, excessive salivation, etc.). If left untreated, allergies to substances, ingested or inhaled, can result in digestive and respiratory problems for your dog, significantly reducing their quality of life and overall well-being.
If your pet is having an allergic reaction, contact Village Vet of Urbana for diagnosis and treatment options to provide the top-quality care your dog deserves.
Dog Allergy Symptoms
Different types of allergies impact your dog’s health: atopy, contact allergies, and flea allergy dermatitis.
Atopy refers to environmental allergens that involve the immune system’s overreaction to things your dog encounters in their daily environment. If they’re enjoying the outdoors, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or just relaxing at home, they’re bound to experience things outside their control like pollen, mold, dust mites, and other allergens.
Atopic allergic reactions are often seen in tandem with seasonal allergies, and they typically affect the ears, paws, and face.
You can look for these symptoms in your dog to see if they may be suffering from an atopic allergic reaction:
- Red or runny eyes
- Skin irritation and constant scratching
- Ear infections leading to “red ears” and discharge
- Frequent licking/chewing in specific areas
Contact allergies happen when dogs physically come into contact with allergens like cleaning solutions, carpet fibers, or plants that irritate the skin. While this allergic reaction is uncommon due to fur coats that offer skin protection, it’s known to develop in exposed areas such as paws, ears, stomach, and snout.
Contact allergies often cause itchy blisters (vesicles) and ulcerations, which could lead to more serious skin infections like secondary bacterial infections.
Just like humans, dogs can experience food allergies, resulting in digestive disturbances such as diarrhea and vomiting. Finding a balanced diet for your dog that lets them eat comfortably is our primary goal at Village Vet of Urbana.
When your pet is experiencing food allergies, you may notice visible signs that your pet is in discomfort, such as:
- Itchy skin
- Vomiting & diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is the most common allergic reaction in dogs and is caused by the skin’s response to flea bites. These bites can cause intense itching, resulting in painful skin wounds if left untreated. The best way to protect your dog and reduce the risk of flea allergy dermatitis is to treat your dog for fleas as recommended by your veterinarian.
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The list of things your dog can be allergic to is endless, but there are common everyday allergens you can be on the lookout for, including:
- Cleaning products & other chemical solutions
- Pet food ingredients (chicken, wheat, corn, soy, etc.)
- Fabrics (wool, synthetic materials, polyester, etc.)
- Shampoo preservatives
- Mold spores
- Trees, flowers, and weeds
- Dust mites
How To Treat Your Dog’s Allergies
There are no cures for allergies, only preventative care and management to keep them at bay. Much like humans, treatment options vary and depend on the severity and nature of the allergic reaction.
Your veterinarian may recommend oral or topical medication to alleviate the symptoms and provide relief. Treatments options can include:
- Allergy vaccinations
- Medicated shampoos, conditioners, and rinses
For additional preventative solutions, you can limit your pet’s exposure to irritants by vacuuming your home and pet’s bedding weekly to help eliminate dust mites and other allergens. Wiping their paws after walks and regularly bathing them can also reduce the risk of contact dermatitis from outside allergens.
Schedule an Appointment With Village Vet
At Village Vet, we care about pet care! Your dog can’t tell us what they’re experiencing. That’s why our compassionate professionals work to find the solutions to put the spark back in their eyes. If your dog is exhibiting signs of allergies, our dedicated veterinarians in Frederick County, MD, provide allergy treatment to keep them healthy and active all year.
Whether it’s seasonal allergies or something unknown, contact us for round-the-clock quality healthcare.