Did you know that dogs can have allergies, just as people can? Allergies in dogs work the same way as they do in people: Essentially, Fido’s immune system decides that a specific substance is harmful, and produces antibodies against it. This in turn causes the reactions that can make both people and pups quite miserable! A Saginaw, MI veterinarian discusses allergies in dogs.
Dogs can become allergic to many different things. A few common culprits are dust, mold, pollen, and strong fumes. Some pups are allergic to ingredients in their foods or shampoos, while others react to flea bites. Typical signs of allergens would include sneezing, wheezing, snoring, flatulence, and/or red, runny eyes. Allergies can also cause stubborn ear infections, which may clear up with medication, only to return as soon as treatment stops.
Food allergies generally involve proteins, such as beef or chicken, and often result in symptoms such as itchy skin, vomiting, and diarrhea. These often develop over time, usually after Fido has been eating the same thing for some time. Food allergies can be a bit tricky to diagnose: you’ll need to put your furry friend on a bland diet for a while, until his reactions stop. Then, you can reintroduce things one by one, to see what causes the reaction.
If you know or suspect that your pooch has allergies, you’ll want to take him to the vet right away. Fido will need to be tested, so the culprit can be identified. Your vet may recommend medication, such as antihistamines. Never give your canine companion anything without checking with your vet.
There are also things you can do to keep your pup more comfortable. If your pooch is allergic to things like pollen or grass, monitor pollen counts and limit his outdoor time when levels are high. Wiping his paws and belly down after his walks can also help. Vacuuming and dusting regularly can also help. We also recommend getting an air purifier, which is a good thing for pet owners to have anyway. You may want to use hypo-allergenic detergents on Fido’s bed. Your vet will be able to give you specific tips once your furry bff has been thoroughly tested and diagnosed.
Do you think your pooch may have allergies? Call us, your local Saginaw, MI animal clinic, today! We’re here to help!