There have been more cases of dogs being treated for allergies this season than in the past, and the allergic reactions in dogs are also much worse than before, according to vets.
Veterinarians from Virginia are sounding off the alarm on dog allergies. The experts from the Harrisonburg Animal Hospital said that they have been treating dogs with allergy symptoms at least two or three times per day this fall season. In the past, they averagely treated one dog with allergies.
Dr. Katie Cash revealed in the news that the dog allergies are also more severe than normal. The dogs aggressively scratch and pull their hair out due to the allergies thus their skin develop open wounds and scabs. The dogs used to only lick their paws when they feel irritated.
The veterinarian unfortunately also said that this cannot be prevented when pollen and pollutants in the environment are higher during this season. Unless you isolate your dog and put them in a bubble, you can only deal with the allergies through medications or injections.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has Allergies
According to WebMD, at least 10 percent of dogs get allergies from their diet. But other allergic reactions are due to the environment, genetics or breed-specific condition.
The symptoms of dog allergies may include gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and gas if it's caused by food. In other cases, they might also develop ear inflammation or infection, itchy feet, and itchy rear end. The dogs may also sneeze and have itchy or runny eyes. They will bite, lick or scratch on their paws a lot and their skin can turn red and moist.
For severe allergic reactions, the dog might have hives or raised bumps on the skin. Its face might also swell. In worst cases, the dog might have an anaphylaxis that's characterized by pale gums, weakness, and difficulty in breathing. The dog might also suddenly collapse.
What's the Best Medicine for Dog Allergies?
The veterinarian will have to access the allergic reaction first before prescribing medication. There are topical creams, specially formulated shampoos, eye rinses and ear cleaning treatments that you can get to relieve your dog's condition. However, you might also need to modify your dog's diet so that the allergies won't worsen.
According to Vet Street, over-the-counter human medications like aspirin, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, and loratadine can work on dogs. However, these medications can be sedatives that weaken and alter your dog's moods.
Some dog allergies may be life-threatening, such as a reaction to insect bites, bee stings, and vaccines. Don't waste your time in this case and get the dog to the veterinarian.
In most cases, treating an anaphylactic reaction is through the injection of antihistamines. The dog might also be given IV fluids.
Are There Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies?
Apart from changing the dog's diet, you might want to replace your dog's food and water container especially if it's made of plastic. This material can crack and scratch so bacteria can harbor in your dog's food bowl, which might trigger a reaction.
You can try treating allergy spots with Epsom salt. Soak the salt on the skin twice a day to reduce the redness and swelling. If the allergies are on the paw, try soaking the paw in an Epsom and warm water solution for 10 minutes. Just make sure that the dog doesn't drink the water or lick the salt on his skin.
Mix some oatmeal with water to rub on your dog's skin and leave it there for 10 minutes. This should help relieve skin dryness and itchiness. However, don’t try to treat the dogs yourself without consulting a vet for guidance and proper care.