All dog owners should know how to recognize dog allergy symptoms. The same substances that trigger a hypersensitive response in humans may also affect dogs. Reports of these reactions in both humans and animals has increased. The substances are in themselves harmless. But, to certain persons or animals they are allergens.
Allergies do not occur with the initial exposure. They develop over time. In some cases, it is with the first exposure. The immune system builds antibodies to oppose the next encounter with the offending agent. With the next contact, white blood cells, known as mast cells, attack the allergen. A substance called histamine is released, and symptoms occur.
Humans usually react to an allergen with upper respiratory ailments. A dog may exhibit watery eyes, maybe even sneeze. But the usual, and more serious symptoms are skin conditions. Hyperactive behaviours may also occur. Scratching, chewing, biting, rubbing, or licking themselves is an indication that they itch. Hair loss may result from the the immune response. It can also be due to the animals intense scratching.
Atopic allergies occur most frequently. These are from inhalation of various substances. Molds, dust, pollen, smoke, air fresheners, and other airborne particles are causative agents. According to some veterinarians, a combination of airborne and skin contact sources are the cause of symptoms.
Contact dermatitis allergy is another type. The usual causes are grass, bushes, lawn treatments, fabrics, carpet fibers, or plastics. Perfumed shampoos, or any topical substance may be the culprit. Reddened, itchy bumps appear on the skin. Hair loss occurs as a result of intense scratching.
Dogs are not allergic to fleas. Flea saliva, however, contains a protein they are allergic to. Those that are accustomed to flea bites may build up a tolerance to it. Those that are not may become allergic soon after the first exposure. The bite areas become irritated and inflamed, and itching may be severe. Hair loss is not uncommon.
People should refrain from sharing their food with pets. Many food items for humans are toxic to dogs. Grapes, raisins, chocolate, onion, and others can cause illness or death. All types of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and grains may be allergen sources. Some become allergic to dog food they have eaten for years. A good quality brand should be provided. Even then, hypersensitivity is possible. Manifestaton is with signs of itching anywhere on the dog. Anal itching may cause the dog to scoot on the carpet or lawn.
Sometimes, sarcoptic mange can be mistaken for an allergic reaction. The signs are similar, with much scratching. It is often referred to simply as mange. Sarcoptic mange is caused by mites that burrows under the skin. In humans, it is called scabies. It requires a special medication to kill the mites. Cool baths may help skin discomforts temporarily. Diagnosis can only be made by a veterinarian. Treatment with products containing natural ingredients can be safe and effective.
Jennifer is a family pet health professional focusing on dog hot spots. She suggests all-natural treatments for dog allergies treatment.