Skin allergies in dogs can become uncomfortable and irritable. In this article, our Dallas vets provide insight into how skin allergies can manifest and what to do if you notice itching or other symptoms of allergies in your dog.
Skin Allergies in Dogs
Skin allergies are also referred to as allergic dermatitis, and they are the most common types of allergies in dogs. Your pup may be allergic to any number of irritants that are causing him or her to itch, scratch, and become generally uncomfortable. Fortunately, our Dallas vets have some insight and advice on what to do.
What causes skin allergies in dogs?
These are the three most common causes of skin allergies in dogs:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
A flea’s saliva will trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs. This can result in flea allergy dermatitis, which can make your pooch’s skin extremely itchy - especially at the base of the tail. You may find their skin becomes red, inflamed, and scabbed. Other signs of fleas include flea dirt (feces), and you may occasionally see the fleas themselves. If you suspect that your dog has flea allergy dermatitis or if you notice signs of fleas, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide appropriate treatment options to alleviate your dog's discomfort, eliminate fleas, and prevent future infestations. Regular flea prevention and control measures are crucial in managing this condition and keeping your dog comfortable and healthy.
If your pet is experiencing itchy skin, it could be a sign of food allergies or sensitivities. Keep an eye out for paw or ear scratching, as well as potential gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea.
Differentiating between food allergies and sensitivities is crucial. Food sensitivities typically develop gradually and are a reaction to specific ingredients such as chicken, milk, beef, or wheat. On the other hand, food allergies provoke an immune response and can lead to skin conditions like facial swelling and hives.
Symptoms can vary from itchiness and chronic ear or foot infections to digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea. If you suspect food allergies or sensitivities, consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and guidance.
Remember, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, including dietary adjustments, should be overseen by a veterinarian to ensure your pet's well-being.
Environmental allergens, such as mold, pollen, and dust, can lead to atopic dermatitis or allergic reactions in dogs. Seasonal allergies can be particularly bothersome, as they may only affect your dog during specific times of the year or particular seasons.
Just like with food allergies, pay attention to your dog's paws and ears for signs that they may be experiencing environmental allergies. Additionally, it's helpful to examine areas like the muzzle, around the eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles, and between the toes for any indications of discomfort or irritation.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
As mentioned above, skin allergies can cause a range of symptoms. These can include:
- Hair loss
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Rubbing of ears or face
- Biting or chewing the skin
- Rubbing or scooting on surfaces
- Red, irritated or flakey skin
With severe skin allergies in dogs, you’re not only dealing with the discomfort and itching of the allergic reaction, but the risk of secondary infection. As your dog scratches, licks and bites at his skin in reaction to the itching, there’s a possibility that yeast and bacterial infection can enter through sores. These may require treatment.
How to Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs
The best way to find out what’s irritating your dog’s system and causing her symptoms is to book an appointment with your Dallas vet. We provide comprehensive dermatological treatment for cats and dogs, including performing a range of allergy tests to determine the root cause of your pet’s skin disorder.
Following diagnosis, we can provide a custom treatment plan to help your dog heal. Treatment will depend on the cause and nature of your dog’s allergy, its location on the body, and other factors.
Treatment may include laser treatments, injectable, non-steroidal allergy medications, medicated baths and other options.
Whether your dog’s skin condition is a result of an allergy, disease or something else, we can find the cause and an effective treatment to help your pet feel more comfortable again - and get you back to cuddling.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.