Allergy is an inadequate and exaggerated reaction of the immune system to a substance that normally does not cause harm. This substance is known as an allergen. Pollen, food ingredients, herbs, seeds, tick saliva, flea saliva, detergents, cleaning chemicals, textile fibers, mites and chicken are common allergens for dogs.
The effects of allergies can range from mild skin irritation to sudden death. The most frequent allergies in dogs are caused by food, insect saliva (through stings), inhalation and contact with different allergens.
Common causes of allergy in dogs
There are many causes why the dog may suffer allergy, usually expressed through the skin. It will depend on the contact route that this is considered atopic dermal or for causes of feeding:
- Feeding: Occurs when one or more of the ingredients of the dog’s food cause the hypersensitive reaction of the immune system. Common allergens are: corn, wheat, chicken, eggs, veal, soy and milk derivatives.
- Atopic: In this case the dog is allergic to a substance that breathes or sniffs. Two common allergens are cigarette smoke and pollen. This type of allergy is the second most common in dogs.
- Dermal: These allergies develop when allergens come into direct contact with the dog’s skin. Common allergens are: flea collars, collars with other antiparasitics, shampoos, fertilizers, medicines, textile fibers for dog clothes, carpet fibers, insecticides and chemical compounds for cleaning products.
- Others: They are caused by insect bites and are the most frequent canine allergies. The most common are allergy to flea saliva and allergy to tick saliva.
Diagnosis of allergy in dogs
The diagnosis of allergy is made based on the symptoms, the history of the dog and the physical examination. In most cases, this is sufficient to recognize the presence of this disease, but not to identify the causative allergen.
To identify the causative allergen, the veterinarian looks for the most frequent causes in relation to the habits of the dog, he is diagnosing. In some cases, it is easy to find the substance causing allergies, especially if it is seasonal allergies. Thus, it is relatively easy to recognize pollen as an allergen in some seasonal allergies. It is also relatively easy to identify the saliva of fleas or ticks as the cause of allergy if the dog is infested by external parasites.
However, in many other cases it is very difficult to find the causative agent of allergies. For these cases, allergy analysis can be recommended.
Fortunately, there is a less invasive and expensive way to identify the allergens involved. It consists of removing all the suspected substances from the environment of the dog and gradually reintroducing them, until the allergic reaction returns. In this way you can know what the allergen is and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Treatment of allergy in dogs
Treatment for allergies may vary depending on the allergen that causes it. The usual is to avoid food that causes allergy, eliminate the presence of parasites or try to avoid the environmental factor that causes it. If you find the cause of allergy, then you can use dog skin allergies remedies easily.
The veterinarian will help us with a guide in which we will test the different effects of certain substances on the dog. However, it is an arduous task that falls on the owners of the dog who are actually the ones who should be informed through the specialist and learn to deal with this recurrent problem in the dog.
To reduce the effects of seasonal allergies oral antihistamines can be used. This does not detract from the allergy but helps reduce symptoms and discomfort until the time when the allergen is common is over. In addition, in addition, the veterinarian can recommend creams, lotions, shampoos and medications that help to reduce inflammation and eliminate irritation and itching of the dog.
The prognosis is usually very good once the substance causing the allergy is discovered.