Allergies in Dogs
Allergies are the bane of modern life. That is true for modern dogs and cats as well. Our understanding of allergies is continuously evolving. We all know how our thinking about allergies and allergen exposure has changed by looking at pediatric literature. Doctors are now recommending exposure of traditional allergens like peanuts to children sooner than previously recommended.
If you are into reading science articles, there are some good articles for you to read to give you a broader understanding of allergies. There has been interesting research in regards to worms and allergies (you can read them here and here) which makes for some fascinating reading! Climate change and our tree preference is also making allergies worse in most cities around the globe. Canadian cities are no exception and are experiencing a higher pollen count. In short, this is a rapidly evolving area of research and yes allergies may be getting slightly worse due to our modern lifestyle.
Most dogs manifest allergies as skin issues. Parts of the body commonly affected are paws, inner thighs, armpits and ears. Signs include redness, ear infections, hot spots, dermatitis, rash, foul odor, itchiness, and pustules. Most allergies in dogs will manifest around about 1 or 2 years of age onward but can start sooner.
What are the most common allergens?
Most common allergens are the pollen from the male trees and grass, mildew or dust mites. Look for seasonal patterns in your pet's allergies. Food proteins or other components can also act as allergens and these can be non seasonal. And some pets can have both types of allergies just as humans can to food as well as pollen. Insects like mosquitoes or fleas can also cause allergic reactions in some pets.
How do we treat allergies?
If you suspect your pet has food allergies, please reach out to us to get a proper guidance on how to do a food trial. In many cases , buying a specific protein food off the shelf is not good enough as most manufactures use the same lines to manufacture different kinds of pet food resulting in contamination.
For other kinds of allergens, we use a combination of omega oils, anti-inflammatory drugs, shampoos, apoquel, cytopoint and immunotherapy (sometimes called allergy shots).
Please get in touch if you like to know more about allergies in dogs. We work with each individual animal to design a comprehensive plan to maintain and reduce allergic skin disease including allergy testing and developing a immunotherapy protocol. We also stock hydrolyzed protein foods and novel proteins like kangaroo and rabbit meat based diets.
You can read more in detail about atopic dermatitis here.