!Call Now! Button Tablet

!Call Now! Button Desktop

Call Now! 575-378-4708

!Social Icons

!Call Now! Icon

Allergies In Dogs

March 15, 2024

Did you know that as many as one in five of our canine companions could suffer from allergies? This is actually pretty close to the statistics for allergies in people. It is estimated that about one in four people have allergies. That comes down to about 100 million people just here in the U.S. A local Ruidoso, NM vet discusses doggy allergies in this article.

What Is The Most Common Allergy In Dogs?

Skin problems—are likely the most widespread among our canine companions. In many cases, these are caused by parasites, such as fleas. Dogs can also suffer from contact dermatitis, which is a type of skin allergy. As the name indicates, this essentially means that Fido has come into direct contact with some sort of irritant. Food allergies are also not uncommon in our canine buddies.

What Are The Signs Of Allergies In Dogs?

It’s not always easy to realize that your furry best friend has allergies. The signs can vary pretty drastically from pup to pup. It ultimately depends on what Fido is reacting to, and how severe the reaction is.

Here are some things to watch for:

  • Licking paws
  • Food allergies
  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Stubborn Ear Infections
  • Runny eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Sneezing
  • Licking
  • Skin Problems: redness, flaking, inflammation
  • Coughing
  • Dander
  • Face rubbing
  • Itchy ears 

Many of these things can be indicative of a wide variety of issues, not just allergies. That’s why it’s so important to bring Fido to your Ruidoso, NM vet for a proper diagnosis.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

Allergies work pretty much the same way with dogs as they do with people. Over time, Fido’s immune system will become intolerant of a specific thing. This is usually some form or protein. It can be insect protein, plant protein, animal protein, or food protein.

Once your pup’s immune system becomes sensitive to a substance, it starts to react by launching an immune response against it and will start to produce antibodies. This triggers a chain reaction which sparks the release of histamines. This causes the reactions that can make your poor pup so miserable, such as itching and swelling.

In a way, it’s the immune system getting a bit too enthusiastic about protecting the body from foreign substances.

This is of course the nutshell version: details about both allergens and the immune system’s responses to them can be quite complex. Ask your Ruidoso, NM vet for more information.

What Types of Allergies Can Dogs Get?

Just like human allergies, dogs’ allergies can be divided into a few different groups. They can also be sorted in different ways. 

Environmental Allergies

As the name suggests, an environmental allergy is a reaction to something in the environment. The list of potential culprits is pretty wide here: it includes things like Pollen, dust, mold, grass, and leaves, as well as cigarette smoke or perfume.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are basically environmental allergies, but they tend to act up at certain times of the year. This list includes many types of tree pollen, plants, grasses, leaves, and flowers. Keep in mind that your pooch can pick up pollen on his paws and belly just running and playing in the yard!

Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the most common types of allergies in dogs. In some cases, Fido is allergic to the food itself. In other cases, it’s one ingredient, such as an additive or preservative. Many pups are allergic to specific meats, like beef, chicken, or pork. Others react to corn or grains. Legumes and root veggies can also disagree with Man’s Best Friend.

Insect Allergies

Fido’s fur doesn’t always protect him from insect bites. He can react to bites from several types of bugs, such as fleas, blackflies, deer flies, horseflies, mosquitoes, ants, wasps, bees, and hornets. Dogs also sometimes react to Arachnids, like spiders and ticks.

Contact Allergies

Contact allergies can be caused by many different substances. These include certain fabrics, such as your carpet or sofa material, ingredients in Fido’s doggy shampoo, floor waxes, and mulch. Fido can even be allergic to dander, or even to your cat.

Anaphylactic Shock

This is the most dangerous type of allergy, as it can be deadly. This is essentially an extreme reaction. These may be caused by things like bee stings, severe food allergies, or reactions to vaccines. These reactions can be fatal. Luckily, they are rare.

How Do I Care For A Dog With Allergies?

As mentioned above, the first thing you would want to do is take Fido to your Ruidoso, NM vet for a proper diagnosis. That way, you’ll be able to get your canine pal started out on a proper regime.

There are also some things you can do at home. Vacuuming and dusting frequently can go a long way toward removing dust, fur, dander, pollen, and other irritants from your carpets and furniture. Changing your air filters regularly can help as well. We’d also advise washing your pet’s bedding frequently. Though you’ll need to check label instructions, if you can, use hot water and unscented detergent, then tumble dry. 

This is also something to consider when decorating. If it’s time for a new sofa, pick something with an allergy-friendly covering, such as leather. You can use washable throw covers to soften it up. You may also want to get window treatments that don’t trap dust.

Another thing you may want to do is start monitoring pollen counts. When levels are high, limit your pet’s outdoor time. It can also help to wipe your canine pal’s paws and belly down before bringing him in.

Last but not least, keep up with Fido’s parasite control and grooming needs. Ask your vet for more information.

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Food Allergies?

Food allergies can be a bit tricky. You’ll need to pinpoint exactly what your pet is reacting to, That may take some time. Your vet may recommend putting Fido on a very bland diet for a while until symptoms ease. Once symptoms stop, you can start reintroducing things one by one, to see what causes a reaction.

How Are Allergies Treated?

Allergies can’t be cured, but there are things you can do to help keep your furry pal comfortable. The first thing to do is schedule an appointment with your vet and determine what is causing your pup’s reaction. At that point, you and your vet will be able to go over specific treatment options.

These may include medication. Some options here include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids or antihistamines; Fatty acid supplements; or topical medication. Fido may also respond to desensitization. In some cases, simply switching shampoos may do it. If your furry pal has food allergies, your vet may recommend a special diet.

When Do Dogs Become Allergic To Things?

Fido can become allergic to a wide variety of things. These allergies can kick in at any stage of his life. That said, it’s fairly uncommon for dogs to develop allergies before they are at least six months old. In most cases, the pup is at least a year or two. There is a reason for this: it takes a little while for Fido’s immune system to decide it doesn’t like something.

Do you know or suspect that your pooch may have allergies? Contact us, Franklin Veterinary Clinic in Ruidoso, NM, today. We are here to help!