Does Dust Cause Allergies in Dogs

Dust can cause allergies in dogs, and people as well. Humans are more likely to suffer nasal or respiratory symptoms from a dust allergy, while dogs are more likely to develop skin problems.

Dust allergies and other allergies caused by inhaled particles cause skin reactions in dogs and they are the second most common type of dog allergy, affecting approximately 15 percent of all dogs.

Dust allergies are most likely to develop when a dog is between the ages of one and three years old. Dust allergies often start as a seasonal problem but become a year-round problem as a dog gets older. Unfortunately, dust allergies are also a year-round problem for some dogs who are exposed to pollens and grasses all year long, rather than only seasonally.

Dust allergy symptoms include constant chewing and scratching of the feet and legs, irritated skin and incessant scratching. Frequent rubbing of the head and muzzle against the floor or furniture and forceful head shaking are the result of a dog’s ears becoming irritated or infected because the glands in its ears overproduce wax in reaction to the allergen.

To treat dust allergies in dogs a vet will prescribe a combination of antihistamines or other medications, and possibly a cream or spray to relieve the dog’s irritated skin.

Dust mites are small creatures related to spiders and they are the main particles comprising dust. These miniscule dust mites thrive in hot, humid conditions. To help reduce dust in your house, try lowering the indoor temperature to 75 degrees or less and keep the humidity below 70 percent.

To help a dog who suffers from dust allergies you can add a HEPA air cleaner to the room where your dog spends most of its time or have a HEPA filter installed in your home’s air conditioning and heating system. You may also want to have the air ducts in your house checked to see if they need to be cleaned.

Another important way you can help alleviate allergies in your dog is to wash its bedding in hot water each week and dry it thoroughly before letting your dog sleep on it again.

Dust can cause allergies that are very unpleasant for a dog and the more you can do to reduce the causes of these allergies, the happier and healthier your dog will be.

Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments

It’s fairly easy to determine whether your dog is suffering from allergies. Dog allergies can affect any breed of dog, no matter where you live. The symptoms of dog allergies are the same for all breeds and the treatments for those allergies are usually the same.

Some of the symptoms of dog allergies are: excessive scratching, pawing at the face or eyes; excessive sneezing, continual runny nose, watery eyes, acute coughing, skin rashes or dry, crusty skin, continually rubbing its face on the floor or furniture , and chronic ear infections.

Seasonal allergies affect many dogs and are caused by spores or pollen grains in the air. These allergens are inhaled and sometimes are able to penetrate a dog’s skin.

Seasonal dog allergies usually occur when a dog is between the ages of 1 and 3. However, some dogs don’t develop seasonal allergies until they are 6 to 8 years old.

If you notice allergy symptoms in your dog you’ll need to schedule a vet visit to have blood tests performed. This is the only way to confirm if the dog really does have seasonal allergies or if the symptoms could be related to a disease that has infected the dog.

Two methods veterinarians use to determine if a dog is suffering from allergies are an ELISA test, the most commonly used test to diagnose allergies; and intradermal testing.

To effectively treat seasonal dog allergies, the vet first has to determine the cause of the allergy, and then you’ll need to limit or eliminate exposure to that allergen. Most dog owners whose pets suffer from seasonal allergies will keep the dog out of grassy or flowered fields during pollen seasons and will also keep the grass on their lawn cut short.

The vet may recommend topical ointments to relive the dog’s itchiness and the other symptoms of seasonal allergies. In addition, regular bathing of the dog’s skin will help reduce allergic reactions.

Some dog owners have reported that a change in their dog’s diet reduced the allergies by strengthening the dog’s immune system. Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help in boosting a dog’s immune system.

The vet may also prescribe antihistamines and steroids if the dog’s allergies continue to worsen.

Some vets also use immunization therapy to reduce a dog’s allergic reactions. This is accomplished by injecting the allergen in small amounts in the dog’s system and after a few shots, the dog will begin to build an immunity to the allergens.

The symptoms of dog allergies should not be ignored and treatment should begin as soon as you know for sure that your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies.

 

Peanut Allergies in Dogs

Peanut allergies in dogs? Who ever heard of such a thing? This is definitely something most pet owners would probably never think about, but if a dog is allergic to peanuts it can make an animal truly miserable when it contracts the allergy.

Like other canine food allergies, peanut allergy in a dog demonstrates itself by causing itching, redness and bald spots. Some dogs will also chew on their feet and legs attempting to stop the itching.

Food allergies may seem to develop without warning but actually take a long time to develop. A food that has caused no problems in the past for a pet, can suddenly cause an allergic reaction the next time it is consumed, and the dog’s body will create histamine to fight the offending allergen.

Histamine is the chemical that causes the physical signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction in dogs, and also in people.

Histamine reactions when left untreated can cause anaphylactic shock, which can affect an animal’s breathing, heart rate or ability to maintain consciousness. In extreme cases, an animal or person in anaphylactic shock can die.

All food products consumed by humans must be labeled with a warning if the food contains peanuts or has been processed in a facility where peanuts or other nuts are also processed. Unfortunately, this warning requirement does not apply to manufactured dog food.

If you suspect your dog may have a peanut allergy, first try to eliminate any other possible substance that could cause the same reactions as peanut allergies, including environmental causes like mold and dust. Also check the labels of your dog’s food for any ingredients that don’t sound familiar, especially if you’ve started feeding your pet a new brand or type of dog food.

To help determine whether a diagnosis of peanut allergies in a dog is a viable one, a vet will do skin tests on a dog to rule out any environmental causes. In these tests, small amounts of an allergen are injected under a dog’s skin to see if it produces an allergic response from its body. If there are any positive results to the skin test, the dog may be allergic to something else in addition to peanuts.

Blood tests can also help eliminate environmental causes by combining small amounts of different allergens with samples of a dog’s blood. If an allergic reaction occurs during the test, an environmental allergy is probably the cause.

Once a veterinarian has examined and rejected any environmental probabilities, food allergies are the next tests to be conducted. To diagnose a food allergy, a veterinarian usually recommends a diet that contains only protein and carbohydrates for your dog, minus the numerous (and sometimes unhealthy) added ingredients found in manufactured dog foods. Both the protein and the carbohydrate will be derived from foods the dog has never eaten before to help determine what the dog may be allergic to. This diet will probably need to be fed to a dog for about 12 weeks.

During the special diet trial period, the veterinarian will evaluate the dog’s clinical signs. If they improve, a food allergy is likely the cause. The veterinarian will then begin to re-introduce certain ingredients of the dog’s former diet in an effort to recreate the allergic response. When an allergic response is produced, the natural assumption is that the last ingredient re-introduced to the diet is the cause of the allergic response.

Peanut allergy in dogs is not a trivial matter to a dog who develops allergic reactions that include itching, redness and bald spots on its skin. Avoiding peanuts is the best way to prevent reocurrences of this allergy which means you’ll need to read all the ingredient labels on manufactured dog foods you buy, including treats and medications, to prevent accidental consumption of peanuts.

 

How To Know When Your Dog Has an Allergy

Allergies in dogs are very common and a pet who has allergies can exhibit many different symptoms. Here’s a quick guide to help you know when your dog has an allergy. If you notice that your dog has several of the symptoms listed below, you should schedule a visit to your veterinarian for testing as soon as possible.

1. Licking or Biting its Paws
Itchy paws may be a sign that a dog has fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that can cause allergies. When a dog has fleas, it licks and bites at its paws trying to relieve the itchiness. If not treated promptly with a flea and tick treatment, the behavior can become obsessive.

2. Searching Out Cool Places to Lie Down
Due to the extreme itchiness almost everywhere on the body, a dog will seek out cooler places like tile floors, cement sidewalks or porches to help relieve the discomfort. The coolness helps bring temporary relief from the itching.

3. Excessive Scratching
An allergic dog will scratch at its skin more than usual, sometimes so hard that it results in wounds and bleeding which can lead to infections. Hair loss can also be a result of excessive scratching as the dog continues to scratch the same spot repeatedly.

4. Lethargy
Since allergies weaken a dog, it will be noticeably lethargic and less interested in its usual activities.

5. Lack of Appetite
If a dog is affected by allergies, its appetite will be diminished and sometimes it may even refuse to eat at all. If this happens only a few times, and the dog otherwise seems okay, the refusal to eat could be due to several other causes, many of which are normal occurrences and nothing to be concerned about. However, repeatedly refusing to eat over a period of a few days could be indicative of something even more serious than an allergy.

6. Aggressiveness
Because allergies cause a dog considerable discomfort, its behavior will change. A dog may become irritable and aggressive, reacting adversely to the kind of attention it normally enjoys.

The above symptoms may also be accompanied by watery eyes, dry and flaky skin, breathing difficulties, swelling of the limbs and nasal discharges.

It’s important to know when your dog has an allergy and be able identify the cause of the allergy as soon as possible to reduce its exposure to whatever is causing the allergic reaction.