Did you know that our canine companions can develop allergies, just like people can? Allergies work the same way in pets as they do with us. In a nutshell, Fido’s immune system will decide it doesn’t like something, and will gear up a response to repel the ‘invader,’ almost as it would with a virus. This overzealous defense mechanism then causes the reactions that make us (and our furry friends) so miserable. A Lowell, MI veterinarian offers some insight on doggy allergies in this article.
Your furry friend can develop allergies at any point in his life, and to many different substances. However, there are a few common offenders. These include dust, mold, pollen, leaves, grass, and dander. Dogs can also be allergic to strong fumes, such as perfumes or cigarette smoke. Certain substances can also disagree with Fido. This may be something in Fido’s shampoo, or perhaps a textile, such as carpet fiber. Bug bites from fleas and/or other parasites are another possibility. Some pups become allergic to specific foods, typically a protein, such as chicken, dairy, beef, soy, eggs, or wheat gluten.
Fido’s allergies can manifest in a variety of ways. Your canine buddy may sniffle or sneeze, and his eyes may get red and watery. Itching is another common reaction: you may see your pooch biting or licking himself, rubbing against things, or pawing at his face or ears. Other red flags include skin problems, such as redness and inflammation; swelling, particularly around the toes, face, eyes, ears, and/or mouth; vomiting; and/or diarrhea. Your pet may also snore, and he may get a bit gassy. While this is rare, some dogs do develop more serious reactions, such as seizures and coma. In extreme cases, these reactions can be fatal.
Caring For Fido
If you know or suspect that your furry pal has allergies, you’ll need to bring him in for testing ASAP. Allergies can’t be cured, but there are ways to manage the symptoms. Once your vet has identified the culprit, you’ll be able to discuss treatment and home care options that will keep your pup comfortable and get that tail going again. Just don’t give your pooch anything without consulting your vet. Many human medications are toxic to Man’s Best Friend!
Do you suspect your dog may have allergies? Contact us, your local Lowell, MI animal clinic, today!