Allergic dermatitis is another way to refer to skin allergies. Skin allergies are the most common type of allergies in dogs. There are a number of irritants that your pooch could be allergic to, causing them to itch, scratch and be uncomfortable.
What are The Causes of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Skin allergies can be caused by a number of reasons. There are, however, three common causes of skin allergies in dogs.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis:
When a flea bites a dog, its saliva could cause an allergic reaction in your pooch. The result of this is flea allergy dermatitis. This can make your dog’s skin extremely itchy, especially at the base of the tail. You’ll notice that their skin has become red, inflamed and scabbed. Other ways you could notice that your dog has fleas is by flea dirt, or you could see the fleas themselves.
Food allergies or sensitivities could cause itchy skin in your dog. You could keep an eye out for scratching at their paws or ears as well as gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea. A combination of both could indicate a food allergy as well.
Distinguishing between food allergies and food sensitivities is very important. Food sensitivities aren’t like food allergies and are a gradual reaction to specific ingredients such as milk, chicken, beef or wheat.
Symptoms differ and can range from itchiness and chronic ear or foot infections all the way to vomiting and diarrhoea. A food allergy will trigger an immune response in your dog that may cause skin conditions such as facial swelling and hives.
Environmental allergens such as mould, pollen and dust can cause atopic dermatitis better known as atopic allergic reactions. Similar to humans, dogs are able to have seasonal allergies as well. Meaning that their allergies are only triggered during certain times of the year.
As you would with food allergies, pay close attention to your dogs ears and paws for signs that they might be suffering from environmental allergies. If you’re unsure, you could do a quick check around the muzzle, eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles and between the toes for indication as well.
What Types of Dog Food Are The Best for Allergies?
The best dog foods for dogs with allergies are available in 2 recipe designs:
- Limited ingredient diets
- Hypoallergenic dog foods
Limited Ingredient Diets
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Skin allergies can have a range of symptoms as noted above. There are, however, common symptoms.
The common symptoms include:
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Rubbing of the ears and face
- Biting or chewing the skin
- Rubbing or scooting on surfaces
- Red, irritated or flakey skin
- Hair loss
When your dog has a severe skin allergy, the discomfort and itching of an allergic reaction isn’t the only concern as your dog has a risk of obtaining a secondary infection. The extreme itching will cause your dog to scratch, bite and lick his skin, this allows for the possibility of yeast and bacterial infection to enter through sores which would then require treatment.
How to Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs
The first step towards treatment would be to contact your local vet. The vet will then take all the symptoms into consideration before making a diagnosis. Your vet may opt to perform a few allergy tests on your dog to determine the root cause of your dog’s skin disorder.
After a diagnosis has been made, your vet will provide you with a treatment plan to begin recovery. The treatment recommended by your vet will depend on not only the cause but the nature of your dog’s allergy as well as its location on your dog’s body.
The treatment chosen may include laser treatments, injectable, non-steroidal allergy medications, medicated baths, ointments, or allergy tablets.
Just a Scratch of Information
Skin allergies are not only uncomfortable for your dog, they are painful. If your dog begins showing symptoms of a skin allergy, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s best to treat any skin allergies before a secondary infection form.