Dogs and Allergic Reactions

Like humans, dogs are susceptible to allergic reactions. The family pet’s allergies can even be triggered by the same things that affect the family – things such as pollen, pet dander, insects, certain foods, and some medications.

In most cases, a dog’s allergic reaction will involve sneezing, watery eyes, itching and scratching, and paw chewing. But, in some cases a dog can develop a chronic inflammatory skin disease called atopic dermatitis. In fact, atopic dermatitis is the second most common allergic skin condition found in canines.

What Causes Atopic Dermatitis?Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

Atopic dermatitis is most commonly brought on by exposure to otherwise harmless substances like mold spores, house dust mites, grass, and other allergens in the dog’s living environment, so the seasons can play a role in the severity of the symptoms. Atopic dermatitis typically affects dogs when they’re between three months and six years of age.

For many dogs, the disease can be so mild in its first year that it goes undetected. The disease usually becomes clinically apparent by the third year. Although atopic dermatitis can affect any breed, some are genetically more prone to the disease. These breeds include Beagles, Boxers, Bulldogs, Retrievers, Dalmatians, Shar-Peis, and Irish Setters.

Atopic Dermatitis Signs & Symptoms

The predominant sign of atopic dermatitis is itchy and inflamed skin. An afflicted dog will excessively scratch, rub, and/or lick the area where the dermatitis is. The most common areas on a dog where atopic dermatitis can be found include:

  • Between the toes
  • Under the arms
  • Between the eyes
  • On the ears
  • On the wrists or ankles
  • On the groin
  • On the muzzle

Diagnosis & Treatment Options for Atopic Dermatitis

If you notice your dog is scratching, licking, or rubbing parts of his body and the area looks red and inflamed, you should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will ask for a complete medical history of your pet and perform a thorough physical examination. Lab tests will also be performed, including a complete blood test, a urinalysis, and serologic or intradermal allergy tests.

The results of these tests will determine what type of treatment options are prescribed. For instance, if the allergic reaction is being triggered by an environmental allergen, then the veterinarian may inject your dog with the allergens he is allergic to so he can build a natural resistance to it.

In other cases, the vet may prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids to help reduce the itching. Bathing your dog in cool water with a pet-safe anti-itch shampoo can also help relieve his symptoms.

Getting Connected With Diamondback Drugs

If your veterinarian prescribed medications for your dog, you can receive a free quote for the medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on all of your dog’s medications.

As always, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your dog is currently taking so your vet can make the best treatment decision for your pet’s unique case and help reduce the risk of a potential drug interaction.

Author: Giano Panzarella