Monday, July 25, 2011

Diagnosing Skin Allergies in Dogs and Finding Remedies

Have you started to notice your dog scratching and itching too much? Is the scratching creating open sores and loss of hair on your pet? If so, this is a sound warning sign that your canine friend may possibly be suffering from dog allergies. Dogs don't show the distinctive reddened eyes and a runny nose similar to what people do when we are suffering with an allergy. Additional indications could consist of unordinary itching of a particular area, or chewing their paws to the point of bleeding.

What Causes Allergies in Dogs?

An allergic reaction can occur when an animal's immune system excessively reacts to individual substances. The body creates antibodies as a type of defense when the cause of the dog's allergy comes into the body. The antibodies will next stick to immune cells in the skin and different tissues. As a result, while the allergens progressively break through tissue surfaces, the antibodies incite immune cells to release virulent chemicals (named histamines) into the surrounding tissue. This then causes inflammation and itching in your pet.

There are some factors to think about when trying to discover the cause of a dog's allergies. An allergy that affects a pet's skin is typically triggered by at least one of these: airborne allergens, fleas, and food.

  • Flea Allergy also known as Flea Dermatitis is typically caused by saliva from a flea. That is the reason it is very critical to rid your dog of fleas regularly.
  • The atopic allergy is initiated by the the breathing of airborne particles in the ecosystem, like dust, mold spores, tobacco smoke and pollen, activate atopic allergies. If a dog has pollen allergies, the pet will show signs, even if you keep it indoors as the allergens will migrate into the home. Wheezing, coughing and sneezing often are signs of this type of allergy.
  • Food allergy is the third most common type of dog allergy. The most likely causes for food allergies in dogs consist of: chicken, soy, corn, milk, wheat, eggs and beef. Vomiting and diarrhea often are warning signs of this form  of dog allergy.
  • Contact allergy is the least frequently seen form of allergy in dogs and is triggered by contacting with something. Triggers could include wool, plastic and grass. Some pets might develop allergic reactions to some chemicals in the house, but it isn’t very common.

How to Diagnose Dog Allergies

A vet might be able to identify the problem, however,although it may require a procedure of elimination to identify the root of the skin allergy and may possibly refer the animal to a veterinarian who’s a skin specialist. In the case where fleas are ruled out, the animal might be put on an elimination diet for a couple months. The animal is fed food he or she hasn’t had before, for instance, chicken, mutton, and potatoes, with the past food being reintroduced gradually until the allergy reemerges.

The allergen is considered to be at least one ingredient if the animals scratching lessens by about 50% of what it was previously. When checking for contact and atopic skin allergies, veterinary dermatologists use an intradermal allergy test that functions by slightly anesthetizing the dog with small quantities of probable allergens that are injected into the shaved region of the skin. If the animal is allergic to a certain substance, the skin will become inflamed surrounding the area of injection.
Treatments for Allergies in Dogs

Keeping the dog away from allergens and curing the symptoms are the top methods of treatment for skin allergies in dogs. Medicines that include steroids and antihistamines are frequently advocated to ease effects of scratching and swelling in pets, although like all medications they can come with undesirable side effects and the lasting effects are unknown. Long term usage steroids is not recommended for these medications function by suppressing the immune system. Extensive steroid use might eventually leave your pet vulnerable to diabetes, infections and other disorders.

Homeopathic Remedies

Fortunately for pet enthusiasts, there are plenty of nontoxic and natural homeopathic and herbal remedies for dogs afflicted with skin illnesses. Melaleuca alternifolia commonly applied externally to stimulate skin health and keeping the dog’s skin sterile while Althaea officinalis root is a great and well known treatment for restoring the skin. Homeopathic remedies including Ledum and Apis have excellent healing attributes and are especially effective in healing inflamed and itchy skin, or minor irritations and lesions.

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