Allergies are one of the most common conditions we see in our dogs in the Spring and Summer every year.
If your dog suffers from allergies you may notice any of the following symptoms / clinical signs:
- Licking their feet
- Chewing their feet
- Scratching their ears, mouth/face, bottom
- Rubbing their face on the ground
- Red and warm ears
- Dragging their belly across the grass/ground
- Generally itchy
- Patchy hair loss
- Scaly skin
- Red or angry locking skin
- Black thickened skin
- Smelly and flakey skin
- Wet weeping sores
- Red bumpy skin
- Swollen face/muzzle/eyes
Insect bites (amongst other things) can cause an immediate acute allergic/anaphylactic reaction where you will find their face to be swelling up, sometimes also vomiting and difficulty breathing – this is an emergency and you should contact us straight away on (02) 42614055. This is not limited to but commonly happens during the warmer months of the year.
Other types of allergies include food allergies, contact allergies, flea allergies and environmental allergies.
Food allergies are the least common cause of itchy skin but should be considered if your pet is itchy all year around (regardless of the weather and seasons). Some animals, such as French Bull dogs are more likely to suffer food allergies. If you are suspicious your dog is suffering from a food allergy the easiest thing to do is start them on a novel diet (with different proteins and carbohydrates) and feed them only this for 6 – 8 weeks, then reintroduce the old diet and see if any signs reoccur. You may need to consult with us to alleviate their symptoms initially.
Contact allergies are very common during the warmer months of the year. A contact allergy occurs when something is touching your pet and causing itchy inflamed skin. Usually your pet will have itchy feet, an itchy belly and an itchy muzzle when this type of allergy occurs. It can be very difficult to determine the exact cause as most allergic animals are allergic to multiple allergens, not just one. For this reason we recommend a consultation with our vets to discuss how to best manage their symptoms.
If a visit to us is not possible you can try dosing your pet with a human antihistamine – we would recommend Zyrtec at a dose of 10mg per 10kg daily.
Flea allergy is also very common amongst dogs hence why we are always pushing you to have your pet on a regular reliable flea prevention. We recommend Nexgard as our first choice for effective flea control. Sometimes your pet only needs to have one flea to elicit hair loss, itchiness and red and angry skin. All pets in contact with each other need to be treated otherwise fleas will be a continuous problem for you and your pet/s.
This group forms the most common cause of itchy skin in our pets. As above it is usually multiple allergens causing the problem – pollens, dust mites, grasses, moulds etc. and is therefore very difficult to limit their exposure. This form of allergy often requires ongoing management throughout Spring and Summer and can be quite frustrating initially. We recommend you book an appointment with our vets so we can come up with a long term management plan that keeps your pet as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. If a visit to us is not possible immediately as above you can trial them on Zyrtec daily at a dose of 10mg per 10kg.
We hope this information has been helpful and please call us on (02) 4261 4055 to discuss further, or if you would like to book in for appointment. Alternatively you can book online.