Does your dog suffer from a Summer allergy?
Allergies in dogs are pretty much as common as they are in humans, and it's estimated that almost 20% of dogs can suffer from allergies.
Dog allergies can range from being annoying and uncomfortable all the way to very painful. Other types of allergy can cause itchiness and irritation.
On top of this, the unrelenting scratching and licking can contribute towards secondary infections, which can worsen symptoms even further.
There are three types of allergies:
- Atopy (also known as atopic dermatitis)
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Allergies to food
Atopy is more of a summertime allergen:
Atopic Dermatitis is an environmental allergic reaction to certain substances like pollen, moulds, dust mites and even animal dander (skin or hair fragments). Somewhat like hay fever in humans. Dogs come into contact with the substance through inhalation or direct, and these allergies can be seasonal or all year around depending on the presence of the allergen. In most cases of atopic dermatitis, the allergens penetrate directly through the skin microscopically to bring out an itch response.
Through a higher concentration of the substance (e.g. pollen in the air), the animals body will release excess histamine which then prompts the symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Atopic allergies result in itchy skin, the most common signs of allergy presence are scratching/chewing of armpits, between hind legs and their face or ears.
How can this be treated?
- Anti-itch therapy using drugs (antihistamine, corticosteroids, antibiotics to treat infections), medicated shampoos, conditioners and skin lotions/ creams. Whenever using drugs, always consult your vets on the best practice for usage, they will be able to advise on any potential side effects.
- Try to remove the source of the allergy as much as you can. Pollen can be carried up to 80km in the air, and dust mites are everywhere. In addition to this you can remove the allergenic weeds from gardens. If you can’t avoid the allergen, wipe or wash your dog’s paws to manually to remove allergens after walks and hikes.
- If the symptoms are mild and very occasional, you can stop your dog from scratching by using special collars, socks or t-shirts to reduce trauma and thus, reducing the risk of infection.
- Use supplements such as biotin or omega-3 oils which, due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, suppresses itching and supports coat health.
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