Just like in humans, allergies can cause incredibly uncomfortable symptoms in our canine companions. Our La Mesa pet dermatologists share some helpful information about skin allergies in dogs, what the common symptoms are and how they can be treated.
Dog Skin Allergies
Skin allergies which are also referred to as allergic dermatitis, are the most common types of allergies in dogs. Your pup may be allergic to any number of irritants that are causing him or her to itch, scratch, and become generally uncomfortable. Fortunately, our La Mesa veterinary dermatologists have some insight and advice on what to do.
The Common Causes of Dog Skin Allergies
Our pet dermatologists in La Mesa share some of the most common skin allergies in dogs below:
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
A flea’s saliva will trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs. This can result in flea allergy dermatitis, which can make your pooch’s skin extremely itchy - especially at the base of the tail. You may find their skin becomes red, inflamed, and scabbed. Other signs of fleas include flea dirt (feces), and you may occasionally see the fleas themselves.
Your pet’s itchy skin may be a symptom of food allergies or sensitivities. Watch for scratching at their paws or ears, along with potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or a combination of both.
It’s important to distinguish between food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances). Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as chicken, milk, beef or wheat.
Symptoms can range from itchiness and chronic infections in the ear or foot to vomiting and diarrhea. True food allergies trigger an immune response, which can cause skin conditions, such as facial swelling and hives.
Atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions can stem from environmental allergens, including mold, pollen and dust. Seasonal allergies can also be a frustrating issue, as they may only affect your dog during certain seasons or times of the year.
Similar to food allergies, look to your dog’s paws and ears for clues that they may be suffering from environmental allergies. Also do a quick check of the muzzle, around the eyes, wrists, underarms, ankles and between toes.
The Typical Symptoms of Dog Skin Allergies
As mentioned above, skin allergies can cause a range of symptoms. These can include:
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Rubbing of ears or face
- Biting or chewing the skin
- Rubbing or scooting on surfaces
- Red, irritated or flakey skin
- Hair loss
With severe skin allergies in dogs, you’re dealing with the discomfort and itching of the allergic reaction, as well as the risk of secondary infection. As your dog scratches, licks and bites at his skin in reaction to the itching, there’s a possibility that yeast and bacterial infection can enter through sores. Your La Mesa pet dermatologist may recommend that your dog received treatment for these sores.
Treatment Options For Dog Skin Allergies
The best way to find out what’s irritating your dog’s system and causing her symptoms is to book an appointment with your La Mesa pet dermatologist. We provide comprehensive dermatological treatment for cats and dogs, including performing a range of allergy tests to determine the root cause of your pet’s skin disorder.
Following diagnosis, we can provide a custom treatment plan to help your dog heal. Treatment will depend on the cause and nature of your dog’s allergy, its location on the body, and other factors.
Treatment may include laser treatments, injectables, non-steroidal allergy medications, medicated baths and other options.
Whether your dog’s skin condition is a result of an allergy, disease or something else, we can find the cause and effective treatment to help your pet feel more comfortable again - and get you back to cuddling.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.