How to Spot Dog Allergies in Antioch, CA

Does your dog seem to be itching a lot? Do they go outside and then come back in trying to scratch all over the furniture? Have you noticed them chewing in one place on their body more than others? These are just some of the ways pet owners begin to notice problems with allergies in their dogs, but there are many more to be on the lookout for, too.

If you think your dog may have allergies, it’s important to understand how to spot them before they get out of hand. Treating your dog’s allergies as quickly as possible can help them feel better sooner and may prevent more serious medical problems as time goes on, too. Call Antioch Veterinary Hospital today at (925) 7572800.

dog allergies in antioch, ca

Acute Allergies

Have you ever been stung by a bee and watched your arm slowly swell up all around the area where the sting is located? If so, then you already have an idea of what an acute allergic reaction looks like. Acute allergies are any type of allergic reaction that happens suddenly after exposure to the allergen in question. Many times, these reactions simply involve swelling, redness, and hives. However, in some severe instances, an acute allergic reaction can be much more serious and may require emergency care (for humans as well as pets!).

If a dog suffers from a serious allergic reaction to something, they may go into anaphylactic shock. This can cause your dog to stop breathing and may be fatal if it isn’t taken care of right away. It’s important to understand the symptoms of anaphylactic shock so you can know when it’s time to get your dog to the vet.

Anaphylactic shock involves redness, swelling, and hives first. Swelling usually occurs in the face or snout as well as the area right around the nose. Dogs may also start drooling significantly if suffering from this type of allergic reaction and may have severe diarrhea or vomiting as well. If your dog’s tongue or gums turn blue or if they have trouble breathing, this is a very bad anaphylactic reaction and should be treated by an emergency vet.

Long-Term Allergies

Many dogs suffer from long-term allergies. These allergies may flare up during certain times of the year or when dogs come into contact with an allergen, but they don’t cause a severe, acute allergic reaction. Most of the time, these allergies cause skin reactions as at least one of their symptoms.

Long-term allergies may involve environmental issues. These include pollen or mold and are more likely to happen just at certain times of the year when these problems are more common. Dogs that are allergic to pollen or mold may sneeze frequently when exposed to the allergen and may have a runny nose or itchy eyes. These dogs may also have itching or hives on the paws, muzzle, ears, and groin area.

Long-term allergies also include flea allergies. This is worse than simply being itchy because of flea bites, and dogs may be actually allergic to the saliva of fleas. If so, they will become extremely itchy and covered in hives or scabs. Dogs may also scratch seemingly nonstop and may be especially itchy at the base of their tails.

Many of these types of allergies can be easily treated or prevented. Dogs with flea allergies should receive regular flea treatment and may need a flea bath to soothe their itchy skin if they become infested with fleas. Dogs who are allergic to pollen or mold may need to take allergy medication (as instructed by the vet) or may need to go on fewer walks during times of the year when these conditions are worse.

Food Allergies

One of the most common long-term allergy issues in dogs is food allergy. These allergies are more than just a dog becoming somewhat sick to their stomach after eating a certain type of food; they involve a variety of other symptoms, too.

Food allergies in dogs do include diarrhea and vomiting, but also cause swelling in the face and muzzle, hives, and itching. Very severe reactions can even lead to anaphylactic shock and may be fatal, although this is not very common.

Contrary to what many pet owners believe, poor skin and fur conditions are not signs of food allergy. They are, however, signs of food intolerance. If your dog has a food intolerance, the condition will slowly get worse over time but will never cause an acute allergic response. It probably also won’t cause any itching, but may cause digestive upset.

Dogs with foot intolerances or food allergies can be put on a specialized diet that doesn’t contain the ingredients that cause the issue. However, you’ll need to talk with your dog’s vet to come up with the best course of action for narrowing down the possible problem ingredients and determining how to feed your dog a balanced diet without them.

Allergy Symptoms

These are just some of the symptoms to be on the lookout for when you think your dog may have allergies. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to schedule a vet visit soon to help diagnose and treat your furry friend.

  • Hives
  • Redness and swelling of the skin
  • Swelling in the muzzle or face
  • Itching ears
  • Itching skin
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Runny or itching eyes
  • Rubbing on the furniture to scratch itches
  • Sneezing frequently
  • Licking often, especially when focusing on the same few spots on the skin
  • Chewing the skin, especially the same spot most of the time
  • Frequent ear infections

Now that you’ve learned something about how to spot dog allergies, it’s time to consider your dog’s behavior and appearance. Do you see signs that they may be suffering from an allergy you have yet to recognize? If you think your dog may have an allergy problem, be sure to speak to your vet about it as soon as possible. Your dog may need to take allergy medication or may simply need a lifestyle or food change in order to deal with this problem. Pharmaceutical products such as Apoquel and Cytopoint can be useful for reducing itchiness and healing irritated skin. Call your veterinarian in Antioch today at (925) 7572800 to help relieve your pet’s allergies.