Does your dog suffer from allergies or have allergic skin conditions? Here are some of the common allergic conditions that might cause your dog to itch:
If your dog scratches themselves frequently, they may be suffering from an allergy. Speak your veterinarian about novel new therapies available to ease your dog’s suffering. Here are some warning signs that your dog has an allergic problem: • scratching and chewing between hind legs and abdomen; • scratching and chewing armpits; • scratching and chewing ears, chewing between their feet.
Just like us people, dogs can get allergies. And while the most common types are a little different to ours, they are no less annoying, irritating and sometimes, very painful. It's important to understand that allergies are lifelong conditions that can never be “cured”. It's just part of each dog's genetic make-up. However, they can be carefully managed using a combination of therapies recommended by your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian will check to see what is causing your dog’s itch, which could include one of the following:
Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common cause for dermatitis in dogs, caused by the saliva fleas release as they feed on your dog. Flea saliva contains antigens and proteins that can cause a severe itching sensation in your pet.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease associated with environmental allergens such as grass and tree pollens, molds and house dust or dust mites. Dogs may also be allergic to fleas, carpets, insecticides, and even ingredients in shampoos. These allergens trigger itch, and depending on what is causing the allergy, your dog may suffer seasonally—or all year round.
Food allergy is one of the most common allergies (or hypersensitivities) known to affect dogs. An allergy causes the immune system to overreact and produce antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate. In an allergic reaction to a food, antibodies are produced against some part of the food, usually a protein or complex carbohydrate. Since antibody production is required for an allergy to develop, food allergies usually manifest after prolonged exposure to one brand, type, or form of food. If your veterinarian suspects food allergy to be the cause of itch in your dog, an 8-12 week elimination diet trial using only hypoallergenic foods may be recommended.
Contact allergy in dogs is a condition that results in inflammation from contact with allergens or substances that damage or irritate the skin. It can affect dogs of any age, though some breeds with genetic predispositions and dogs with weakened immune systems are more likely to show signs.
How do I treat my pet?
Atopy is often a life-long disease that is rarely cured. The vast majority of cases need chronic management. Treatment would first consist of trying to remove the cause from the dog's environment, then may consist of a variety of treatments depending on how the dog's skin is going. With atopy, your dog may have “flare-ups” where the skin becomes much worse and more intense treatment is required. Treatments may involve special shampoos and skin creams or lotions, medication to relieve itching, antibiotics for bacterial infections and even immunotherapy injections to desensitize your dog to the allergens that cause the problems.
The health information contained herein are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider, considering the unique characteristics of the patient.