Can Dogs Have Allergic Reactions in Tulsa, OK?
Just like people, animals can have allergic reactions to their environment, their food, and other pets in the home. This is not something that is commonly known by people looking to get a pet, but some breeds of pets are more prone to these kinds of allergies than others. Even breeds of animals that are not known for their sensitive skin or tendencies to be allergic can have allergies.
Dogs can have allergic reactions and these reactions can vary from mild itching or scratching to severe anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can lead to death, so it is serious if you have a pet that is experiencing severe allergies. Sometimes what can seem like a mild allergy at first can escalate into a scary situation without attention.
What Can Cause Allergic Reactions?
The most common kinds of allergic reactions are food allergies. In dogs, most of the allergic reactions that are treated at the veterinarian are due to a food that is causing the allergy. Dogs can also have seasonal allergies like people, so your dog might be allergic to a plant or tree that is in bloom during certain parts of the year.
Other allergic triggers can be other pets in the home, something that the dog is getting into and eating that they should not be and being fed people food. People food is full of all kinds of chemicals and products that are not good for pets. This is one of the key reasons that pets should not be fed people foods daily.
How do I Know if My Dog Has Allergies?
Allergies can manifest themselves in many ways and here are some of the most common.
Itchiness or Hives
The most common of these is itchiness or hives. Dogs with allergies almost always show this symptom first, even if they end up with more severe symptoms later. Itchy skin that leads to scratching or red and runny eyes are common signs that something is causing an allergic reaction in your dog.
Another common issue related to allergies is itchy ears. Your dog might not be scratching at any other part of their body but their ears. This can lead to hematomas under the skin of the ear or cuts and scrapes in the ear itself. Itchy ears can also be related to other conditions, such as ear mites, so a visit to the vet for itchy ears is always in order.
Diarrhea, Vomiting, and Stomach Upset
Diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upset can also indicate an allergy that is causing distress. Dogs who are eating things that they are allergic to commonly display these symptoms in varying degrees. Sometimes you can clearly link the vomiting or other digestive upset with the food you have fed them, but it might take a few hours for these reactions to show up.
Sneezing and Runny Nose
Sneezing and a runny nose can also accompany allergies, and this is common with seasonal allergic reactions. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a plant or flower, you will understand what your dog is feeling. Be aware of severely red eyes, a swollen face, or labored breathing as these can be signs that a seasonal allergy has become more serious and could be a medical emergency.
Signs of Acute Allergic Reaction in Dogs
When dogs experience a severe allergic reaction, there are some clear symptoms that something serious is going on. You will want to take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if they experience any of these symptoms. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and must be treated by a vet as soon as it is detected to save the life of the dog.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction include:
- Facial swelling
- Panting quickly and whining
These are not common symptoms related to mild allergies, so this is a very easy condition to detect and react to. This kind of reaction is commonly associated with ingesting a poison, being stung by an insect, or eating something that the dog is severely allergic to. You might not know what caused the reaction, but your dog will need to go to the vet right away for treatment. You can investigate the cause of the reaction after your dog is safe.
How Can I Track Down the Reason for an Allergy?
Figuring out what your dog is allergic to can be hard. In some cases, you will see a direct reaction to something that they have just come into contact with, but often allergies develop slowly over time. You will need to pay attention to any scratching behavior, hives on the skin, or signs that your dog is not comfortable. If you see a consistent pattern, it might be time for a visit to the vet.
Your vet will likely have you change to different food and limit time outdoors unsupervised to see if this helps clear up the problem. If the problem persists and you cannot figure out what is causing it, your dog might be put on a daily medication regimen for a while to help calm their immune system down. Sometimes this is all that is needed to resolve the problem.
Dog Allergies Can be Mild or They Might be Serious
When your dog is displaying symptoms of an allergic reaction, you should make sure that you pay attention to what might be causing the reaction and try to eliminate it from your dog’s daily life. You will find that allergies are often mild, but some allergies can become quite serious over time and require medical attention. Involving your vet is always a good idea if you are not sure what is causing the allergic reaction.
Taking allergies seriously is important to make sure that your dog’s health is not impacted for years to come. While a little bit of scratching might seem like it is no big deal, over time this kind of allergy can become a much bigger problem. Your dog will thank you for taking the time to make sure that they are not exposed to allergens that make them feel sick.