Allergies – Dogs May Suffer Too
Many people don’t realize that their dogs, like human beings, can suffer from allergies. In fact, about twenty percent of the dogs in the United States suffer from one allergy or another. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common form of allergies in dogs. Other types include atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and inhalant allergies.
Signs and symptoms of dog allergies may vary. Skin allergies are often marked by persistent itching and discoloration of the skin. Inhalant allergies symptoms include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and mucus discharge. Nausea, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea are common to food allergies and other ailments.
Over-the-counter preparations and treatments for common dog allergies exist. They may be purchased at any good pet supply store. But care should be taken when choosing such treatments. Consultation with a vet is the best first course of action for several reasons. What you think is an allergic reaction may actually be signs of a more serious ailment. A vet should be the one to determine whether that is the case. If the allergy is severe enough, over-the-counter treatments may not be enough. A prescription strength treatment may be required. There is also the chance that the dog does not have an allergy at all. The last thing you want to do is medicate your pet.
If you do think your dog has some type of allergy, consult your vet. The vet will be able to perform tests to determine if an allergic condition exists. How severe it is, and what the proper treatment will be. If the dog has an allergy to certain foods, restrict the animal’s diet. The vet’s testing methods can help to determine whether this type of allergy exists as well. If the dog has flea allergy dermatitis (an allergic reaction to the saliva of fleas, rather than to the insects themselves), an extreme flea prevention regimen will be recommended.
Like humans, dogs that suffer from various allergies can live with them if they are detected and treated. It is important to keep in mind that this is not a time to “play doctor” by attempting to diagnose and treat a possible allergic condition yourself. Only your veterinarian is qualified to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies and what course of action to take.