Allergies, Not Always Food Related!

Allergies are the common cause of skin and ear conditions in dogs. Typical allergy signs are itching, alopecia (hair loss), and recurring skin and ear infections. Statistics show that 80% of dogs have environmental allergies and only 20% will develop a food allergy. Many pet owners will assume their pet has a food allergy, but most of the time, that is not the case. Types of Allergies in Dogs

Flea Allergic Dermatitis
Atopic Dermatitis ( environmental)
Secondary infection
Flea Allergic Dermatitis

Flea allergic dermatitis occurs when a dog is allergic to the saliva from a flea bite.The severity varies by the allergy, not the number of fleas found on the dog. Sometimes owners are unable to find fleas on their pet, because dogs will scratch and knock the fleas off, however, this allergy can be triggered by as little as one flea bite. Fleas may also survive in low numbers in your home, despite the winter season. It is important to use a veterinary recommended flea control product year-round for 100% flea control.

Atopic Allergies (Environmental)
Environmental allergies are an inherited predisposition to developing skin problems.

They will occur from exposure to a variety of harmless substances including pollen, weeds, grasses, trees or even house dust mites or mould spores. Atopic dermatitis can be determined by intradermal skin testing or by blood testing. This test will allow us to create a vaccine that we can administer to decrease your pet’s sensitivity. There are also a variety of steroidal and non-steroidal medications that your veterinarian will choose from to help decrease your pet’s itchiness and symptoms.

Food Allergies
Food allergies occur when your dog develops a hypersensitivity to a specific food ingredient. This could include proteins, carbohydrates, preservatives or dyes. There is controversy over whether serum testing is able to detect food allergies. Pin-pointing your dog’s food allergy is a very lengthy and strict process that can require multiple food trials over periods of several weeks or months.

Secondary Infections
Secondary infections due to allergies are very common. They are usually the source behind having allergies. Most secondary infections consist of bacteria and/or yeast. These infections are secondary to the main allergy and increase the level of itchiness and discomfort in your pet. Most secondary infections require treatment with long courses of antibiotics and/or medicated bathing programs.

Written by Ashley Brimicombe Oct, 2017 

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