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How to Treat Skin Allergies in Dogs

Dogs with skin allergies can be itchy, uncomfortable, and irritable. Our Statesboro veterinarians explain how allergic reactions can present themselves, as well as what to do if you notice itching, redness, or other symptoms.

Severe Skin Allergies in Dogs

Allergies to the skin, also known as allergic dermatitis, are the most common type of allergy in dogs. Your dog could be allergic to a variety of irritants, causing him to scratch, itch, and be generally uncomfortable. Our Statesboro vets, fortunately, have some insight and advice on what to do.

What causes skin allergies in dogs?

These are the three most common causes of skin allergies in dogs:

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

The saliva of a flea can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs. This can cause flea allergy dermatitis, which causes your dog's skin to become extremely itchy, particularly near the base of the tail. Their skin may become reddened, inflamed, and scabbed. Flea dirt (feces) is another sign of fleas, and you may see the fleas themselves on occasion.

Food Allergies

Itchy skin in your pet could be a sign of food allergies or sensitivities. Scratching at their paws or ears, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or a combination of the two should be suspected.

It's critical to understand the difference between food allergies and food sensitivities (intolerances). Food sensitivities, unlike food allergies, are a gradual reaction to a specific ingredient like chicken, milk, beef, or wheat.

Itching and chronic infections in the ear or foot, as well as vomiting and diarrhea, are all possible symptoms. True food allergies cause an immune response that results in skin conditions like facial swelling and hives.

Environmental Allergens

Environmental allergens such as mold, pollen, and dust can cause atopic dermatitis or allergic reactions. Seasonal allergies can be aggravating because they only affect your dog during specific seasons or times of the year.

Look for signs of environmental allergies in your dog's paws and ears, just as you would for food allergies. Check the muzzle, the area around the eyes, the wrists, underarms, ankles, and between the toes.

Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs

As mentioned above, skin allergies can cause a range of symptoms. These can include:

  • Excessive scratching
  • Excessive licking
  • Rubbing of ears or face
  • Biting or chewing the skin
  • Rubbing or scooting on surfaces
  • Red, irritated or flakey skin
  • Sores
  • Hair loss

You're dealing with not only the discomfort and itching of the allergic reaction but also the risk of secondary infection in dogs with severe skin allergies. Because your dog scratches, licks, and bites at his skin in response to the itching, yeast and bacterial infection can enter through sores. These may necessitate medical attention.

Treatment for Skin Allergies in Dogs

The best way to find out what’s irritating your dog’s system and causing her symptoms is to book an appointment with your Statesboro vet. We provide comprehensive dermatological treatment for cats and dogs, including performing a range of allergy tests to determine the root cause of your pet’s skin disorder.

Following a diagnosis, we can devise a personalized treatment plan to aid your dog's recovery. The type and severity of your dog's allergy, as well as its location on the body and other factors, will determine the course of treatment.

Laser treatments, injectable non-steroidal allergy medications, medicated baths, and other treatments may be used.

Whether your dog's skin condition is caused by an allergy, disease, or something else entirely, we can identify the source and provide an effective treatment to help your pet feel better - and get you back to cuddling.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

Do you suspect your dog has a skin allergy? Contact us today for an examination.

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Statesboro Bulloch Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Statesboro companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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