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How to diagnose and treat allergies in dogs

Just as people can develop allergies, so can dogs. In fact, dogs can develop allergic reactions to any number of substances in the environment. If you find that your dog scratches himself a lot and fidgeting has become a habit of his, then it is likely that he suffers from some kind of allergy.

Allergic dermatitis in dogs

Common allergies Eczema in dogs is common, as is dog dermatitis and canine allergies. The common allergies which can be seen in dogs include contact allergies, food allergies and allergies related to the environment. Symptoms The symptoms that your dog is suffering from a skin problem and/or allergy may vary from one animal to another and is dependent upon the kind of allergy which he has. Some dog skin allergies are relatively mild while others can cause a great deal of discomfort and can be very serious. Recognising an allergy in dogs Allergies in dogs are very common because there are all sorts of allergens in the pet’s immediate environment. The onus falls upon the owner to decide if the symptoms a dog is suffering from may be allergy-related and then, to take him to see the veterinarian for a professional diagnosis and treatment. If you have an itchy dog or find that you dog is chewing his paws or has a skin rash, then you should take him in right away!

Diagnosing and treating the problem

Dog skin infections Not every dog allergy will come with the same set of symptoms. The development of skin lesions and itching are two of the most common symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs. If your dog has developed an allergy, he will scratch his body a lot and this can lead to open sores. This can easily bring about dog skin infections if left untreated. Signs of allergy Dermatitis in dogs is often localised and obvious to see. If the allergy is bad enough, there may be places where fur has been lost and where the skin looks red and sore. A flea infestation and an allergic reaction caused by a chemical substance can also show similar signs. Diagnosis The veterinarian must determine the source of the allergy and from there, can decide upon an appropriate course of treatment. Treatment The doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory treatment for contact dermatitis which involves steroids or corticosteroids. Sometimes, fatty acid supplements are prescribed as well as steroids and an antihistamine for dogs. If the problem is a bacterial and flea allergy, then topical treatments and medical baths can improve the dog’s skin condition as well as can getting rid of the pests from the home. Bathing a dog often with a medicated shampoo is also beneficial.

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