Friday, January 20, 2012

Diagnosing and Treating Dog Allergies

More often than not, our pets can experience some of the same problems that we do. One such example is that dogs can also suffer from allergies. Fortunately, there are numerous ways for dog allergies treatment so it is more of a matter of finding out exactly what the cause for the allergic reaction is.

Dogs, like people, show allergic symptoms when the immune system recognizes a certain substance as dangerous. These substances are present in everyday life and most dogs are not affected by them. However, a dog with allergies will have a reaction to the substance whenever it inhales, ingests or comes into contact with the substance. The manner in which it affects the dog depends on the allergen itself.

Dogs can become allergic to a long list of things but a few examples are pollen, mold spores, dust, fleas, cleaning products, insecticidal shampoos, certain food ingredients, among many others.

Any dog can develop allergic reactions at any point in their lives. There are some specific dog breeds like terriers, setters, retrievers and flat-faced breeds in which allergies are more common to develop.

Some of the symptoms that may be identified to help determine if your dog has allergies are itchy skin (which will result in excessive scratching), runny eyes, sneezing, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended if the dog presents any of these symptoms. The veterinarian will more accurately determine the cause of the allergies so the dog owner can make the necessary changes to stop the allergies.

Dog allergies treatments are specific to the allergen to which the dog is reacting to. Dog allergies caused by fleas can easily be treated with the use of flea control programs and products. Bathing the dog once a week is a good way to remove environmental allergens like pollen from the dog's skin and helps relieve the itching sensation. Asking a veterinarian about what shampoo to use is recommended, as bathing the dog with the wrong shampoo can worsen the problem. Cleaning the dog's bedding and vacuuming areas of the house where dust gathers is an effective treatment when dust is the cause for allergies. The most complex form of treatment is needed when dogs have a food allergy. Dogs must be put on a special diet until the allergic reactions has stopped manifesting. Once this is done, the dog is reintroduced to old foods to determine which the allergen is.

There are also a variety of allergy injections, medications and supplements that can either prevent or help treat allergies. These should only be administered to the dog with instructions by a veterinarian.

Most dog allergies treatments are simple and don't require much more special attention to the dog. The only important step is determining with the help a veterinarian what the allergen is that is causing the reaction so a treatment can be advised.

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