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Allergy in dogs, symptoms and treatment


Did you know that dogs can also be sensitive to certain substances such as dust or pollen? Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to certain foods, parasite bites and pollen. If you want to know what are the types of allergy in dogs and what symptoms they present, you can not miss this article that we have prepared for you from Las Almenas.

Keep in mind that allergy in dogs can cause more or less serious reactions. From a simple irritation to complications that compromise the animal’s life. Acting in time and in the right way is essential for the health and welfare of your dog. Attention, we begin!


How is allergy in dogs?

Allergy in dogs, and in humans, is the exaggerated response of the immune system to a foreign body. That substance, known as an allergen, does not normally cause any harm. Sometimes, however, the immune system creates special antibodies to that allergen. Therefore, when the body is confronted with the allergen again, an allergic reaction is triggered.

This immune response increases each time the allergen comes into contact with the body.

Substances that can be an allergen for your dog are:

  • Pollen
  • Food
  • Herbs
  • Parasite bites, such as fleas or ticks – Dust mites
  • Dust mites
  • Drugs


Types of dog allergies

If you are wondering what the different types of dog allergies are and what causes them, here is the answer:


1-Food allergies and intolerances.

As the name suggests, this type of dog allergy is caused by one or more ingredients in the dog’s food. They can appear in dogs of any age and at any time of the year, without following any kind of seasonality.

However, food allergies are not very common. Most of what owners consider an allergy in dogs is actually an intolerance. If, for example, it is a lactose intolerance, it is because the dog lacks the enzymes needed to digest lactose. Thus, when drinking milk, the intolerant dog may suffer from diarrhea.

The foods that most frequently trigger allergies in dogs are animal proteins, such as chicken, meat, dairy and eggs.

Lamb, pork and fish are less likely to cause allergies, although it is possible. Allergies to wheat, corn, rice are also very rare or almost non-existent.


2-Environmental allergies

Atopic allergy affects 15% of dogs. It is a hypersensitivity that the dog develops to certain substances that it has smelled or smelled, such as pollen, grasses, molds….

Spring allergy is a very clear example of atopic allergy in dogs. It is precisely at this time of the year when the pollen released by trees and flowers can trigger a lot of allergies, as is the case of hay allergy in dogs.


3-Skin allergies in dogs

Skin allergies are the most common type of allergies in dogs. They are also known as allergic dermatitis.

In this case, it is a type of allergy in dogs that appears when some allergen comes into contact with the dog’s skin, causing an allergic reaction. These allergens can be mites, ticks, fleas and other parasites?

As a consequence of this reaction, the dog’s skin can become inflamed and cause intense itching and irritation. In response to such discomfort, the dog scratches, rubs or licks itself, which, in some cases, can lead to wounds and the introduction of a secondary infection.


4-Acute allergies

When stung by a bee or wasp, the dog may suffer an anaphylactic shock, which may appear within a few minutes after being stung. This acute allergic reaction is characterized by breathing difficulties, drooling, vomiting, convulsions and even loss of consciousness. If this occurs, it is essential to see a veterinarian immediately.

Allergy symptoms in dogs

Not all allergic processes occur with the same intensity and response. There are four types of allergic reactions to which different treatments correspond:


-Hypersensitivity type 1

This is the allergy that occurs shortly after the allergen comes into contact with the blood. The symptoms are: diarrhea, urticaria, vomiting, tachycardia and even death of the dog if it is not treated quickly.

Rhinitis (sneezing), allergic bronchitis (dry cough) and bronchial asthma (coughing and wheezing) are types of hypersensitivity 1, caused by pollen, dust or tobacco. Also atopy, such as allergic dermatitis or allergic eczema, appear due to the same causes and provoke itching, reddening of the skin, papules.


-Type 2 hypersensitivity

In this type of allergic response, the allergen reaches the organism to create a defense. It is then that antibodies bind to the allergen, which can lead to the destruction of red blood cells. As a consequence, you may see blisters, warts, as well as yellowish color on the dog’s skin.

Signs of hypersensitivity 2 are also cold, diarrhea, weakness, etc.


-Type 3 hypersensitivity

In this case, we are talking about certain pathologies, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, polioarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, which manifest themselves with pain in the joints.


-Type 4 hypersensitivity

This type of allergic response occurs after the allergen has entered the body. Among the most common symptoms are redness and itching of areas of the body without fur or with fine hair.


Allergy treatments in dogs

Do you suspect that your dog may have an allergy? To confirm and treat properly, whether it is a food, atopic or dermal dog allergy, you should see your veterinarian. Do not be surprised if the vet diagnoses an allergy more than you expected, since it is common to develop allergies to various allergens.

The problem with allergy in dogs is that it can be quite difficult to pinpoint and resolve, as food and environmental allergies have some of the same signs and symptoms. Therefore, forget about self-diagnosis and let the veterinarian perform diagnostic tests, such as allergological testing.

Unlike humans, allergy testing in dogs is much less reliable, which is why your veterinarian will probably give you specific instructions on what to expose your dog to and how to monitor his health over time to find out the specific cause of his health problems.

The most common causes of allergies in pets are environmental, including fleas, dust mites, grass and pollen. If you find that your dog’s allergies tend to ease during the winter or worsen during flea season, it’s very likely that the causes of his allergies are environmental.


But, since food allergies can cause skin problems similar to those caused by environmental allergies, it should be up to your veterinarian to help you determine for sure what type of allergy it is.

Keep in mind that the best way to get dog allergies under control is to know what the allergen is and avoid it, as most allergies cannot be cured. Ask your veterinarian what treatments can help alleviate or control your dog’s bothersome symptoms:


  • Antihistamine.

Veterinarians often prescribe antihistamines for dogs with mild allergies.

  • Dietary changes.

If a food causes an allergic reaction, its intake should be avoided. To determine which food is causing the allergy, it is possible to adopt a hypoallergenic diet, in which dairy, beef or wheat, which are responsible for up to 80 percent of food allergies in dogs, are eliminated. Sometimes, it is also necessary to establish a specific feeding plan.

If by eliminating certain foods you find that the allergy has disappeared or is improving, you have already found the cause. If you want to maintain that wellness, you already know that you should not give that food or ingredient again.

  • Cortisone medications

Corticosteroids are much stronger, but also more effective medications for treating allergy symptoms. However, their prolonged use is not recommended because they can cause permanent side effects. But don’t hesitate to use steroids if your veterinarian recommends them to relieve your dog’s itching.

  • Bath products

You can use shampoos, creams and lotions with compounds capable of soothing inflammation and repairing the injured skin. In addition, bathing also helps to remove allergens from the coat.

Allergy in dogs or allergy to dogs?

Just as dog allergy occurs in dogs, people can also develop allergy to dogs caused especially by the hair they shed. If this is your case and you do not want to give up having a dog, we suggest you read our article “The dog breeds that shed less hair“.


In Las Almenas we breed different mini and toy hypoallergenic breeds. Contact us and we will help you find the best option for you.

Now you know that to keep allergy in dogs under control you have to carry out a good routine of feeding, bathing, deworming, etc.. And, of course, follow to the letter the treatment advised by your veterinarian.

Do you want to tell us your experience? Tell us what your dog is allergic to and how you have managed to reduce its discomfort. You can leave us your comment at the end of this article or through our profiles on Facebook, Instagram or on our YouTube channel of Las Almenas. We hope that allergy management in dogs is now a simpler process for you. See you next time!

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