Allergies in Dogs: How to Identify & Treat Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies by Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA
While seasonal allergies may have you sniffling and sneezing, the same allergies can manifest quite differently in your dog. Itchy skin and recurring ear infections are signs that your dog has allergies. Thankfully, these allergy issues are common and very treatable.
Common Causes of Allergies in Dogs
Seasonal allergies are brought on by factors that are present during a specific time of year. The most common causes of allergic reactions in dogs are fleas and ticks, followed by seasonal pollen and dust mites. Less frequently, dogs may develop food allergies, which can occur any time of the year.
Signs of Allergies
Excessive scratching, chewing and licking, particularly of the paws, are common signs your dog may be battling allergies. These behaviors can lead to raw patches and painful infections. Allergies in dogs, particularly those already prone to ear problems, may also lead to ear infections. These dogs will have painful, itchy, smelly ears and head shaking. Some dogs may also experience respiratory symptoms, like sneezing and coughing, due to seasonal allergies.
Diagnosing Your Dog With Allergies
Tell your veterinarian about your dog’s symptoms. They’ll work with you to eliminate potential causes for your pooch’s discomfort based on a physical exam, your pet’s history, appropriate testing and their responses to therapy.
Managing Allergy Symptoms
You can work with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment to manage your dog’s allergy symptoms, including:
- Limiting your dog’s exposure to allergens by wiping their paws and legs before letting them inside after outside playtime.
- Bathing will help remove environmental allergens from your dog’s coat and skin. Too frequent bathing can strip natural oils from your dog’s skin, but medicated shampoos like Allermyl actually support the integrity of the skin barrier.
- Oral medication, such as Cyclavance, can be used to manage allergies. There are also topical medications, like Genesis topical spray, that can relieve the signs of allergy and atopic dermatitis.
If your dog is showing signs that they may be suffering from allergies, it’s time for a visit to your veterinarian for an evaluation. Together you can discuss the best options to manage your dog’s allergies so they can have a happy, comfortable spring and summer.
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