Aachoo! Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

No, people are not the only lucky species who suffer from allergies. Dogs are not spared from the misery, either. They can be allergic to anything people can be allergic to: foods, pollens, weeds, dust, fleas, and even to cats! Dogs often experience allergies in a different way than people, however. Most commonly an allergy rears its ugly head as a skin issue. If any of the following sound like your pet, a trip to the vet may be in order to discuss allergy management:

  • Chronic licking, itching, or chewing, particularly at the paws, groin, neck, or flanks
  • Extremely itchy back/base of tail
  • Chronic ear problems
  • Frequent “hot spots”
  • Hair loss or reddened skin
  • Itchy or runny eyes
  • Less commonly: Vomiting or diarrhea, hives or swelling

Allergies can be difficult to get under control, and sometimes even difficult to diagnose. They are never truly cured, but often can be managed. Your veterinarian will most likely want to perform a series of tests in order to rule out underlying problems. After that they may recommend special foods, shampoos, medications, and testing in order to help your pet stay as comfortable as possible. Every pets allergy issues are unique and every dog responds differently to treatment. While it is impossible to totally get rid of the problem, dogs with allergies often experience a greatly improved quality of life once proper treatment is instituted.