Day 4: Home Remedies For Dog Allergies
Welcome to the last day of our 4 day course. Today we will discuss a very frustrating problem that many dog owners face, that is dog allergies.
Defining Dog Allergies
Flea allergy dermatits
is the most common cause
of allergic skin disease
Allergies in dogs are almost as common as allergies in people. Allergies are caused by the immune systems over reaction to an antigen or irritant.
Most people easily recognize allergies when they see a dog that is itchy or trying to scratch itself. There may even be areas of hair loss.
Allergies of the skin can come in different forms with are:
>Allergies to dog food. Normally caused by certain grains, coloring agents or even preservatives.
>Atopy is skin allergies brought upon by allergens. Some common allergens include grass pollens, weed pollens, mildew, dust mites, and smoke.
>Contact Dermatitis, are allergies caused when your dog's skin touches a particular object like certain fabrics, plastics, and rubbers.
>Allergies to parasites are another common cause of skin allergies. Fleas are the most common cause of this disease. Dogs become allergic to flea saliva.
Symptoms of dog allergies
>Hair loss which may develop in patches all over the body or may be localized to one spot on the body
>Redness, swelling and rashes on the skin
>Excessive licking of paws
Symptoms of dog food allergies
Atopy (skin hypersensitivity)
is the second most common cause
of allergic skin disease
>Frequent bowel movements throughout the day
>Ear infection or inflammation
Symptoms of atopic allergies
Dog Allergy Causes
Most of the clinical signs you see when your dog has an allergic reaction are caused by a molecule called histamine, which is released from mast cells.
Dogs that have allergies have likely eaten something, touched something, or inhaled something that their immune system finds offensive.
The only way dogs react to allergies is to scratch themselves. Sometimes the scratching can cause severe skin wounds that may even become infected.
This is why it is important to treat dog allergies early, before they become unbearable for the dog.
How Allergies are Diagnosed
Most veterinarians can diagnose allergies simply by a physical examination of the dog and your clinical history.
Most allergy treatment programs consist of flea treatments, anti-histamines, and shampoos.
If your vet wants to determine the exact allergen causing your dog's problem, they might even do an intradermal skin test.
If your dog's food might be causing the allergy, a food diet trial might be done to see if your dog is allergic to certain grains.
If your dog is on a food trial it is important to not give them any treats or table scraps that are not allowed by your veterinarian.
Treatment of Allergies
The simplest way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergen from your dog's life. This is often much easier said then done, especially if it is not clear what your dog is allergic to.
Common treatments include a hypoallergenic diet, anti-histamines, shampoos, and lotions.
Even supplements like omega-3 fatty acid and biotin can give your dog some relief.
Corticosteroids should be used sparingly because they can have a lot of negative side effects like increased urination and water consumption. It may even lead to Cushing's disease.
Some vets even give allergen shots, which is an attempt to retrain the immune system to not react as strongly to certain allergens.
People have been using herbs and other natural remedies for hundreds of years to help treat allergies.
Some of these natural remedies can also be a safe treatment for pets as well. Some of the herbs include:
How to Prevent Allergies
Dogs with allergies
often have chronic
Preventing allergies in your dog is much easier and less expensive then trying to treat them, which is why you should put a lot of work into keeping your dog healthy.
Here are some things that may help to prevent dog allergies:
>Feed dogs a diet that is free from artificial preservatives and colors.
>If switching your dog's diet, make sure to do it slowly over a few weeks. Abrupt diet changes can cause havoc on your dog's GI health.
>Dog give your dog table scraps or left overs.
>Don't use plastic food bowls. Stick with stainless steel or bowls make of ceramic.
>Give fresh clean water on a daily basis.
>Keep your dog away from cigarette smoke, smog and pesticides.
>Vacuum your carpets and dust your house on a regular basis.
>Take your dog for annual examinations at the veterinary clinic.
That's it for our 4 day program, we hope you learned a thing or two to help treat your pet at home.
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