Skin Allergies in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Have you begun to notice your dog itching and scratching excessively? Is the scratching creating exposed cuts and loss of fur on your dog? If so, this is a pretty good sign that your dog may perhaps be suffering from dog allergies. Dogs don’t display the familiar blotchy eyes and a runny nose the same way people do when dealing with an allergy. Other indications can involve excessive licking of a certain area or gnawing their paws until they bleed.

What Are The Causes of Skin Allergies in Dogs?

An allergy occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to particular substances. The body produces antibodies as a form of protection after the dog’s allergy-triggered the body. The antibodies will next connect to immune cells in the skin and different tissues of the body. Therefore, while the allergens progressively penetrate the tissue, the antibodies stimulate immune cells to release strong substances, called histamines, into the neighbouring tissue. This will then cause inflammation and dog itching. For more detailed information about dog itching, see our post on dog itching and scratching.

There are certain things to think about when locating the cause of skin allergies in dogs. An allergy that affects a dog’s skin is usually brought on by one, or several, of the following: fleas, airborne allergens, food, and contact.

Flea Dermatitis sometimes referred to as Flea Allergy, is typically brought on by saliva from a flea. This is why it’s especially imperative to rid your dog of fleas regularly.

The atopic allergy is brought on by the inhalation of airborne particles in the natural environment, like cigarette smoke, pollen, mould spores, and dust. If a pet has pollen allergies, the dog will manifest warning signs, even if kept in the house, as the particles will eventually move into the home. Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing are generally signs of this kind of allergy.

Food allergy is the third most frequent variety of dog allergies. The most probable culprits for food allergies in dogs are soy, milk, chicken, corn, beef, eggs, and wheat. Vomiting and diarrhoea frequently accompany this kind of allergy in dogs.

Contact allergy is the least seen form of allergy in dogs and is brought on by contacting something. Triggers can include plastic, wool, and grass. A few dogs might develop allergic reactions to some chemicals in the house. However, it is not very common.

Identifying Skin Allergies in Dogs

A veterinarian should be able to detect the problem. However, it could take a procedure of elimination to find the cause of the skin allergy and could refer the animal to a veterinarian that’s a dermatology specialist. In the case where fleas are ruled out, your pet could be put on an elimination diet for a few months. The dog is given food it has not had in the past, for instance, turkey, veal, and potatoes, with the past food being brought back gradually until the allergy reappears.

The allergen is believed to be at least one ingredient if the animal’s itching subsides by at least 50% of what it was earlier. When examining for contact and atopic dog allergies, dermatology specialists use an intradermal allergy test. The test works by mildly sedating the dog with small amounts of prospective allergens injected into the skin on the shaved section. If your dog is allergic to a particular substance, the skin surrounding the injection area will become inflamed.

What Are Breeds of Dog Susceptible to Dog Allergies?

Although skin allergies can occur in most dogs breeds, some breeds seem to be more susceptible to it than others. It has been found that skin allergies in Yorkies, Pitbulls, Maltese, Poodles, Shih Tzu, Westies, Golden Retriever, and Cocker Spaniels are more common than in other breeds of dogs.

Treatments for Skin Allergies in Dogs

Keeping your pet away from allergens and curing the symptoms of skin allergies in dogs are the most beneficial approaches toward treatment. Medications like steroids and antihistamines are often advocated to alleviate the symptoms of scratching and swelling in pets. Still, like all drugs, they may be accompanied by harmful side effects, and the long-term effects are unknown.

Long-term use of steroids is discouraged for these drugs to operate by suppressing the immune system. Continued steroid use over time could leave your dog vulnerable to diabetes, infections, and other conditions.

Natural Remedies

Fortunately for dog owners, there are many safe and all-natural homoeopathic and herbal treatments for pets dealing with severe skin conditions.

Althaea Officinalis root is an exceptional and popular treatment for repairing the skin, while Melaleuca alternifolia is often used as a topical to promote healthy skin and to keep your pet’s skin clean. Homoeopathic remedies, including Apis and Ledum, have wonderful healing attributes and are especially beneficial in soothing inflamed and itchy skin or minor bites and cuts.