When your dog is suffering from skin allergies it can be extremely unbearable. Our Palmdale vets will talk about these skin allergies and what you can do to help your dog.
Skin Allergies in Dogs
The most common type of allergies that dogs suffer from are skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. These skin allergies may cause your dog to excessively scratch and itch. Our Palmdale vets will explain the causes behind these skin allergies and some advice on what you can do to help them.
What causes skin allergies in dogs?
There are three common causes of skin allergies in dogs:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Some dogs are triggered by the saliva of fleas when they are bitten. This can result in flea allergy dermatitis, which can make your pooch’s skin extremely itchy - most commonly near the base of the tail. Frequently when this occurs you might find that their skin becomes red and inflamed. You might also spot flea dirt (feces), or even the fleas themselves.
Dietary concerns in your pup can trigger skin allergies and symptoms such as scratching or redness. A common thing to look for is your dog scratching at their paws or ears. Along with skin irritations, you might notice potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a combination of both.
It’s important to distinguish between food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances) as they are two different conditions. Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as chicken, milk, beef, or wheat. Your vet will be able to examine, test and diagnose properly to determine either of these conditions.
Symptoms can range from itchiness and chronic infections in the ear or foot to vomiting and diarrhea. True food allergies trigger an immune response, which can cause skin conditions, such as facial swelling and hives.
Environmental allergens, including mold, pollen, and dust can cause atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions. During certain times of the year or only during certain seasons, you may find that your dog is being affected by these symptoms. These are seasonal allergies and can be a nuisance to manage.
Just as with food allergies, your dog’s paws and ears will show signs that they may be suffering from environmental allergies. Also do a quick check of the muzzle, around the eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles, and between toes.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
As mentioned above, skin allergies can cause a range of symptoms. These can include:
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Rubbing of ears or face
- Biting or chewing the skin
- Rubbing or scooting on surfaces
- Red, irritated or flakey skin
- Hair loss
With severe skin allergies in dogs, there is a risk of secondary skin infections as your dog will be scratching and biting to try to find relief from the discomfort. 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
If you have concerns about your dog licking or scratching themselves excessively, the best option is to book an appointment with your Palmdale vet. We will perform an evaluation and diagnostic testing in order to properly diagnose and treat your dog's skin disorder.
Once your pet has been diagnosed we can work together to come up with a treatment plan that is best for your pet. Treatment will depend on the cause and nature of your dog’s allergy, its location on the body, and other factors.
Whether your dog is suffering from skin allergies or any other skin condition, we can find the cause and effective treatment to help your pet heal and feel more comfortable again.
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.