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Dog Skin Allergies

Dog Skin Allergies

When your dog is suffering from skin allergies it can be extremely unbearable. Here, our Perry vets discuss the causes, signs, and treatment of skin allergies in dogs.

Skin Allergies in Dogs

The most common type of allergy that dogs suffer from is skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. These skin allergies may cause your dog to excessively scratch and itch. Our Perry vets will explain the causes of these skin allergies and some advice on what you can do to help them. 

Causes of Skin Allergies in Dogs

There are three common causes of skin allergies in dogs:

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Some dogs are triggered by the saliva of fleas when they are bitten. This can result in flea allergy dermatitis, which can make your pooch’s skin extremely itchy - most commonly near the base of the tail. Frequently when this occurs you might find that their skin becomes red and inflamed. You might also spot flea dirt (feces), or even the fleas themselves. 

Food Allergies

Dietary concerns in your pup can trigger skin allergies and symptoms such as scratching or redness. A common thing to look for is your dog scratching at their paws or ears. Along with skin irritations, you might notice potential gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a combination of both.

It’s important to distinguish between food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances) as they are two different conditions. Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient such as chicken, milk, beef, or wheat. Your vet will be able to examine, test, and diagnose properly to determine either of these conditions. 

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.

Environmental Allergens

Environmental allergens, including mold, pollen, and dust can cause atopic dermatitis or atopic allergic reactions. During certain times of the year or only during certain seasons, you may find that your dog is being affected by these symptoms. These are seasonal allergies and can be a nuisance to manage.  

Just as with food allergies, your dog’s paws and ears will show signs 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.

Signs of Skin Allergies in Dogs

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
  • Sores
  • Hair loss

With severe skin allergies in dogs, there is a risk of secondary skin infections as your dog will be scratching and biting to try to find relief from the discomfort. 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. These may require treatment.

Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

If you have concerns about your dog licking or scratching themselves excessively, the best option is to book an appointment with your Perry vet. We will perform an evaluation and diagnostic testing to properly diagnose and treat your dog's skin disorder.

Once your pet has been diagnosed we can work together to come up with a treatment plan that is best for your pet.  Treatment will depend on the cause and nature of your dog’s allergy, its location on the body, and other factors.

Whether your dog is suffering from skin allergies or any other skin condition, we can find the cause and effective treatment to help your pet heal and feel more comfortable again. 

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. 

Are you worried that your dog might be suffering from skin allergies? Contact our Perry vet to book an appointment. 

New Patients Welcome

Looking for quality veterinary care in a warm and friendly atmosphere? Westmoreland & Slappey Animal Hospital in Perry, GA is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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