Are you wondering how to know if your dog is allergic to something? As of 2022, there were 90.5 million households in the United States have pets.
More and more dogs are developing allergies every day. With so many allergens in the world, it’s easy to understand.
Only a trained veterinarian can reach a diagnosis of pet allergies, but there are a few tell-tale signs you can be aware of to discern whether your dog may be in pain.
Today, we’ve put a list of some of the possible symptoms of an allergic reaction. Keep reading to learn more!
Frequently Licking or Biting Their Paws or Face
Frequently licking or biting their paws or faces is a sign of such allergies in dogs. They are trying to ease the discomfort caused by allergens. These allergens lead to itchiness, which often causes dogs to bite or lick their paws or sometimes their face or belly and constantly shift their feet in an attempt to soothe the sensation.
It is significant to be aware of this because excessive licking and biting can cause further skin damage and introduce secondary bacterial infections. If your dog is exhibiting signs of allergies, it’s best to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. This can range from dietary changes to medication and should provide some relief from itching.
Additionally, keeping your pup away from dust, pollen, and other allergens may reduce their discomfort. Dogs biting their paws can be prevented, and check out here for more info. An understanding of the underlying cause of the allergies is the first step to finding an effective treatment.
Have Inflamed Skin on Their Belly or Rump
Inflamed skin on the belly or rump is the primary symptom of cutaneous allergies as one of the most common types of allergies in dogs. These areas of the skin are sensitive, as they are in contact with the dog’s bedding or carpeting most of the time. This can lead to an allergic reaction as the dog’s body responds to the substances in these materials.
In some cases, you can relieve this symptom with a topical flea and tick preventative; however, it is vital to investigate the cause of the allergic reaction as some causes can be dangerous.
Chew or Bite at the Irritated Area
When dogs chew or bite at irritated areas, it is often an indication of discomfort or irritation caused by an allergen. In most cases, they’ll direct the attention to the area where the itch is coming from. While this behavior is mostly seen in short-haired breeds, it may be present in any breed.
It can manifest as a skin rash, hives, dryness and flaking of the skin, and redness of the area. Dogs may chew or bite more frequently and in more areas of their body when their allergies are severe and impacting their comfort.
When dogs scratch or bite at the affected area due to an allergic reaction, they can also cause harm to their gums and teeth, so it’s best to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Hot Spots or Initial Bare Circles
Hot spots or initial bare circles are common signs of seasonal allergies in dogs. These spots are itchy, red, raw patches of skin often covered with crusts or scabs. The affected area can be localized or spread to larger parts of the body.
In some cases, it may spread over the entire body. Hot spots are caused by an accumulation of allergies, parasites, environmental factors, and/or underlying skin conditions such as seborrhea, yeast, or bacterial infections.
Have Hair Loss on Their Legs
One of the most common signs of allergies in dogs is hair loss on their legs caused by a flea allergy. Often, dogs will react to fleas, which will cause their skin to become itchy and inflamed. This can lead to excessive itching and scratching, resulting in bald patches on the legs.
Leg hair loss is caused by a hypersensitivity to a certain allergen that triggers an inflammatory process in the hair follicles. This leads to the hair becoming fragile and breaking off easily.
The legs are often the most affected area due to the frequent contact with allergens, though the hocks, face, and abdomen can also be affected by hair loss from allergies.
Recurrent Skin Infections
Allergies in dogs can manifest in recurrent skin infections. When a dog is allergic to a food or environmental irritant, their immune system can become weakened. They can no longer fight off the bacteria and other organisms that cause skin infections, leading to recurrent skin infections.
These reoccurring skin infections can present as itching, red and inflamed skin, bald patches, open sores, and even blood and pus oozing from the affected area. Dogs with recurring skin infections may benefit from a change in diet, vaccinations, or topical medications.
You can also treat these allergies through desensitization therapy. This uses a series of injections or oral medications to help the dog build up a tolerance to the allergens.
Recurring Ear Problems
Allergies in dogs can cause recurring ear problems that can be seen as a thick yellow discharge. This can occur as a result of food, airborne, or contact allergies.
This yellow discharge can indicate infections, inflammation, yeast, and mites in the ear canal. In more severe cases, it can be a sign of a serious allergic condition known as atopy.
Allergic dogs affected by atopy can suffer from recurrent ear problems and a thick yellow discharge due to increased itching, scratching, and moisture from shaking their heads. Regularly cleaning the ears and giving the pet baths with veterinarian-approved shampoos can help treat recurring ear problems.
Allergies in dogs can cause difficulty breathing, which is an important symptom to look out for. When your dog has difficulty breathing, it can be a sign of allergies, especially if there is a change of seasons or an introduction of new food. Dogs experiencing difficulty breathing due to allergies may sound congested or make wheezing noises.
Additionally, their nose may be running, and their eyes may be watery. Symptoms include frequent sneezing, coughs, a runny nose, or labored breathing. If left untreated, these can worsen, and the dog can become unable to breathe.
Allergies in dogs can often be cleared up with simple treatments, such as antihistamines or corticosteroids, depending on the severity of the allergies. If allergy symptoms persist and difficulty breathing continues, a veterinarian may recommend further treatment.
Red Itchy Eyes
Red itchy eyes are a clear sign of allergies in dogs. Many people make the mistake of ignoring the sign, but this can cause serious health issues. This telltale symptom is an allergic reaction to something in the environment, whether it is a certain type of food, an insect bite, or exposure to microscopic allergens such as dust or mold.
Also, you may observe dogs suffering from these allergies rubbing their faces, cheeks, and legs excessively against floors, furniture, and any hard surfaces. This behavior is to provide some measure of relief from the intense itching around the eyes. In severe cases, the skin around the eyes may be moist and inflamed, accompanied by the typical symptoms of sneezing and wheezing.
If left untreated, the itchiness can lead to chronic problems such as ear infections and corneal ulcers. To prevent this, it’s crucial to identify the cause of the allergic response to your pet and eliminate or manage the source of the problem.
Vomiting is one of the symptoms of an allergic reaction, particularly if it is accompanied by other signs such as diarrhea, scratching, or sneezing. It is important to note that there may be other causes of vomiting, such as digestive upset. If the vomiting continues or becomes more frequent, further investigation may be necessary to identify the cause, so seek your vet’s advice.
Pets may take allergens in through the ingestion of food items. It can irritate the gut by itself, or it could also trigger other reactions in the body.
If the allergy is going on for a longer period, then the allergy may become a condition called “allergic gastroenteritis.” The result is the same – vomiting due to allergies.
If you suspect that your dog is displaying symptoms of allergies and vomiting is one of them, your vet may select an anti-allergy medication. They may recommend a specific diet change to help reduce the occurrence of vomiting.
Diarrhea is a sign of allergies in dogs and can be a result of either food or environmental allergies. Some dogs may have a reaction to proteins or other chemicals in their food. When a dog has an allergic reaction, the body releases histamine and other chemicals that can cause the stomach to become inflamed, which can lead to diarrhea.
It is important to remember that identifying and treating the underlying cause is essential to return the dog to full pet health.
Pet Allergies You Need to Be Aware Of
It’s necessary to act promptly with signs of pet allergies, as they cause discomfort and can lead to more serious conditions if untreated.
These signs are frequent licking or biting of their paws, inflamed skin on their belly, chewing or biting at the irritated area, hot spots, hair loss, recurrent skin infections, ear problems, difficulty breathing, red itchy eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your dog shows signs of allergies, contact a veterinarian right away to get the pet care they need.
Be sure to check out the other articles on our blog!