Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

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wvvdiup1
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Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by wvvdiup1 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:23 pm

Article from/by VetInfo
Skin allergies in dogs occur as a negative reaction to an ingested or inhaled allergen, or when the dog comes into contact with a certain material. Stress may also trigger skin irritations.

Skin allergies are more common in adult dogs, after the age of 2 or 3.
Identify Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are visible irritations on the dog's skin. You may notice these while grooming your dog. In some cases, the dog may also have a few bumps on the surface of the skin, and sometimes these bumps are filled with pus.

Skin allergies may cause itchiness and the dog will tend to lick, bite and scratch the affected areas, causing hair loss and sores.

It's also common for skin allergies to be accompanied by other bacterial or fungal infections, such as a yeast infection or acne.

Dogs with skin allergies have red, dry, unhealthy looking skin and in addition, the coat will have an unhealthy aspect.

The symptoms of skin allergies may be seasonal; it all depends on whether the allergen is present in the dog's environment.

The allergen may be identified with skin or blood testing.
Skin Allergy Treatment Options

The treatment options for skin allergies depend on the causing irritant.

* Antihistamines can manage skin allergies, reducing the allergy symptoms; antihistamines can be prescribed for inhalant allergies (to dust, mold or pollens), food allergies or contact allergies (to plastic, synthetic fabrics or wool). The most common antihistamine for dogs is Chlorpheniramine. If administered for a long period, the antihistamines must be rotated, as the dog may build immunity to certain drug components. Antihistamines can cause side effects such as weakness, vomiting or vision problems.
* Steroids are recommended in conjunction with antihistamines, or alone for cases of severe skin allergies. Steroids may be administered orally and/or topically. Just as the antihistamines, the steroids are recommended for inhalant, food or contact allergies. Steroids are not recommended as long-term treatment due to side effects that may occur: increased appetite, increased thirst, cardiovascular issues or liver damage
* Anti-flea shampoo is recommended if the skin allergies are caused by fleas; the dog may be allergic to the bites of fleas, and the bacteria that exist in flea saliva.
* Immunization vaccines can treat canine allergies. The dog will get several vaccines containing the allergen over a few years; eventually, the dog may not be as sensitive to allergens. This method is also known as desensitization, and is more recommended as a long term treatment, having no side effects.
* Antibiotics are needed if the dog has bumps filled with pus to treat and prevent infections.
* Prescription diet is recommended if the skin allergies are caused by food. The vet will also prescribe supplements of fatty acids and vitamin E for healthy skin and fur.

The most important thing in reducing skin allergies in dogs is to eliminate the allergen from the dog's environment. If the dog is allergic to plastic, you should replace the plastic food bowls with metallic or ceramic ones. If the dog is stressed, the stress factor must be eliminated.

Monitor your dog and see if the skin irritations reoccur. Sometimes, dogs may develop new allergies or may not respond well to medication.
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bendog
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by bendog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:41 am

I wish it was that simple.
My boyfriends dog has severe skin and ear allergies, and has nasty sores from scratching.
She is allergic to pollen, sawdust, and carpet mites. Try eliminating them from the environment!
She is on steroids, antihistamines, and has an antifungal bath treatment every few days to prevent infections in her sores.
Nothing really works.

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Nettle
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by Nettle » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:42 am

What country are you in, bendog, and what breed is the dog?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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leslie123
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by leslie123 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:09 pm

I've read that article and so many others about allergies. I too wish it was that simple. We've talked to the vet about it also and she did mention getting the allergy testing done (blood). From most things I've read the skin tests are more accurate. What is most discouraging to us though, is that it seems its not too uncommon for new allergies to present, which means new testing and new shots every year. Its all very expensive. We're doing the best we can to manage the environment by keeping his bed and the tile floor its on as clean as we can, along with running air cleaners in the house and vacuuming often. He's on a limited ingredient diet and when he does have rashes pop up we treat topically to alleviate itching. When he is itchy, he isn't always rashy. Its all very frustrating. The only question I would have about that article is when they mention stress at the very end. Does stress cause a dog to show allergic symptoms?

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Nettle
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by Nettle » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:53 pm

Stress can manifest as skin problems because it alters the chemical balance in the body and messes up the digestion - therefore more toxins have to be eliminated somehow and the skin is a huge eliminatory organ.

Change of diet helps many dogs, but change of environment is needed if stress is a major contributor. Organ function needs to be checked thoroughly as a failure in one cleansing organ may show as skin issues.

My vet has enormous success with allergies, as do many holistic vets, because they treat the patient instead of giving meds that suppress the immune system (itchy skin is an immune response). However once certain meds have been given, the immune system cannot work at full capacity again - which is why it is helpful to try diet, environmental change and supplements before the big guns.

Immune testing can have some bizarre results, as I said in another thread, where the allergens identified don't even exist in the country the dog was in.

Some breeds are very much more allergy-prone than others.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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leslie123
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by leslie123 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:16 pm

Thanks for the info Nettle. I looked it up and it turns out there is a holistic vet not too far from us. I think we'll give her a try. Poor guy has had this itch problem since we got him. Sometimes its barely there and others we have to resort to the e-collar so he doesn't tear himself up. The current vet we go to even mentioned some dogs having allergy to human dander! :shock: I said that must not be too common and she said its one of the standard things they test for when doing the blood testing. I would hate to think thats the case here, I don't know what we'd do.

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Nettle
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by Nettle » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:04 am

Good luck and keep us posted :)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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dgtrainer101
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by dgtrainer101 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:57 am

Check out Dr. Karen Becker at Mercolla Healthy Pets on the web. She has awesome information on allergies and food. Some quick things, my aunt is into dog nutrition, no corn wheat or soy. Read your food labels. Grain free is best. Usually white rice is worse than brown rice. Switch proteins frequently. If you or I stayed on chicken, we would not get all the nutrients we need from beef or fish, same with your dog. Plus, staying on one protein for prolonged periods of time has been known to cause allergies. Lastly, raw diet is best. Dog's digestive system is not far off from a wolf's. They are meant to eat meat. It is not processed and is healthier. But, you have to understand feeding raw food. You can't just buy meat from the store and give it to them. You need read up on it first.

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Mattie
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Re: Treating Skin Allergies in Dogs

Post by Mattie » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:32 am

I used to have a dog that had so many allergies it was virtually impossible to find a food he could eat, in those days I was looking after my husband who had a stroke so had to feed commercial foods. Joe couldn't eat brown rice but could white, I have since heard of quite a lot of dogs that are allergic to brown rice. As well as cereals dairly products can cause allergies, some dogs may be allergic to beef but fine with other meats.

I have asthma and use a steamer on my carpets, they will eventually all go, I find using a steamer help a lot as well as an ionizer.

Vacuuming often blows everything we are allergic to back out again so only vacuum the carpets, I gather the dog hair together and pick it up on my wooden floors, I then mop the floor, this keeps all those things I am allergic to well down so they don't affect me.
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