Allergies Caused By Fleas And Parasites
Almost every dog will get fleas, ticks, mites, or other parasites at some point in its life. Usually, these parasites are easily removed, and the dog will not have an adverse reaction. However, some pets will develop allergies, mainly relating to biting parasites. It is typically the parasites saliva that causes the allergic reaction in dogs.
Flea bite hypersensitivity in dogs will cause extreme itching and discomfort to your pet, this is known as flea bite dermatitis or pruritus. Symptoms and signs include:
- excessive scratching
- hair loss
- formation of scabs or lesions on the skin.
Symptoms are episodic and tend to worsen in summer months, as well as when the pet ages.
Diagnosis of a parasite or flea allergy is relatively straightforward, as you or your veterinarian will be able to identify the parasites on the dogs skin.
Treating the allergic reaction usually involves removing the parasite, either with a topical medicine or by grooming. This should stop the reaction.
For excessive itching, vets may prescribe steroids , antihistamines or antibiotics for a secondary infection.
Different Conditions Different Symptoms
The symptoms of an allergy can include skin rash, hives, itching, paw biting, obsessive licking and sometimes nausea or vomiting.
The signs of food intolerance include digestive distress, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
Again, lets use milk as an example
A milk intolerance would look more like gastric distress.
This can include symptoms like gas, bloating or diarrhea.
However, a true milk allergy would produce an immune reaction .
Iii How Can You Get Food Allergy Testing For Your Furball
If you have any suspicions that your pooch is plagued by a food allergy, you should make an appointment with your vet to discuss the issue and to get to the bottom of it.
There are many commercially-available skin tests and blood allergy tests. This is a common starting point. Unfortunately, theres a lack of evidence supporting the accuracy of these tests, so they should be considered as a rough benchmark rather than a guaranteed and precise diagnosis.
The most systematic approach is to start an elimination diet to determine which food is provoking the allergy in your furball. Here, you start by removing all the foods your dog has been eating, and you give him foods he has never tried before. Once symptoms of the allergy abate, you begin reintroducing his old foods gradually. If a reaction occurs and this may take from a few days to a week or more to manifest youll then be able to permanently eliminate that ingredient from his diet.
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What Is Food Allergy
Most people know someone who is allergic to certain foods, such as strawberries or nuts.
“Food allergy is one of the five most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs.”
Food allergy is one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. In a pet with an allergy, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate. In an allergic reaction to a food, antibodies are produced against some part of the food, usually a protein or complex carbohydrate. Since antibody production is required for an allergy to develop, food allergies usually manifest after prolonged exposure to one brand, type, or form of food.
Tips For Making Your Own Dog Food At Home
Making your own food from scratch is hands-down the most reliable way to ensure your dogs diet has not come into contact with anything theyre allergic to. Weve got some healthy dog food recipes to share with you and some great dog food recipe hacks to make cooking for your dog less of a chore.
We hope this guide to dog food allergies helps you find a solution to your dogs symptoms. As a reminder, please always talk to your vet before introducing your dog to a new food.
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Treating Food Allergies In Dogs
The only effective way to treat a food allergy in dogs is to change their diet.
While grain-free foods are often touted as good for food allergies, science tells us that protein sources are more likely to be the culprit. According to a study published in 2016, the top three most common causes of food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy, and chicken.
What Are Dogs Highly Allergic To
The most common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. And, most dogs are usually allergic to more than one thing. Q: What causes these allergies? A: Its a multi-factorial thing, but certainly you have to have a genetic predisposition to develop allergies.
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Find The Source With A Food Allergy Trial
If the vet suspects your dog has a food allergy, they will recommend a food allergy trial. This is the most effective way to figure out which foods your pup is allergic to. A food allergy trial involves temporarily switching to a diet with new ingredients and slowly reintroducing original ingredients one at a time.
Youll start by gradually transitioning your dog to a hypoallergenic diet. This process should take about a week. Switching to a new food rapidly may cause further gastrointestinal upset. Feed your dog the hypoallergenic diet for at least eight weeks or until their allergy symptoms clear up.
Once your dogs symptoms are gone, the vet will instruct you to feed your pup select ingredients from their previous diet. Add single-source ingredients like chicken strips or wheat germ to their food and watch your dog for allergy symptoms. Keep adding ingredients back one at a time until you identify which one is triggering an allergic reaction. The entire process can take months, depending on how easily you identify your dogs allergy triggers.
Treating Your Dog’s Food Allergy
Once youve determined, to the best of your ability, what your dog is allergic to, you can start to make daily dietary changes. Keeping them away from any known allergens is the only way to prevent a flare-up.
Generally speaking, feeding your dog a well-balanced diet is the best way to maintain a healthy system. When it comes to the dog food itself the fewer ingredients and additives the better. Make sure your dog cant access another household pets food and dont let anyone in the house give it table scraps. Check treats and chew toys thoroughly before letting your dog have a turn at them.
There is also some evidence to suggest that feeding puppies probiotics when they are young can help keep their digestive systems supplemented with enough good bacteria to ward off possible allergies that can develop later in life. Adult dogs may want to adopt a regimen of prebiotics to help feed these good bacteria and keep their systems regular.
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Common Food Allergens For Dogs
In general, the protein sources in many dog foods are some of the most well-known offenders. Beef products can be especially triggering for dog food allergy sufferers. While this may seem counterintuitive since dogs are primarily carnivores, if the quality of meat isnt up to par its likely to cause upset.
Many pet owners also mistakenly assume that their dogs have iron stomachs and can put down almost anything. In truth, most dogs are lactose intolerant and the dairy products found in many common dog food brands can seriously disrupt their systems. Be careful if you are in need of a puppy milk replacer for nursing newborn pups.
In addition to beef and milk products, some other notable food allergens include:
Just like humans, dogs can also have a severe gluten intolerance. Wheaten Terriers and Irish Setters are notorious for developing celiac in their lifetimes. This results in internal intestinal inflammation that can prevent the digestive system from properly absorbing nutrients. Outwardly this might result in poor coat conditions, rapid weight loss or persistent diarrhea. To remedy this, dogs must be strictly fed grain-free dog food. Feed and treats must be entirely devoid of wheat-derived products like rye, oats, barley.
Lastly, allergies in dogs can be traced back to food, environment, or both.
Can Dogs Have Scrambled Eggs
Eggs should be cooked before given to a dog. Cook or boil eggs plain without oil, butter, salt, seasoning, spices, or other additives. It doesnt matter how your dog likes their eggs sunny side up, scrambled, or hard boiled as long as they are cooked. In general, dogs shouldnt eat more than one egg per day.
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How To Prevent Food Allergies In Dogs
Finding the source of a food allergy is difficult enough, but trying to prevent food allergies is another challenge entirely. And while you simply cannot completely prevent a food allergy from happening, there are steps you can take to help stop several common allergies.
First, you can start when your dog is just a puppy. Make sure to feed him a healthy diet and give them adequate nutrition so they can build a healthy mucosal barrier, which can help prevent food allergies in the future.
While your dog is still a puppy, you can also try to prevent canine gastroenteritis, which is believed to result in a dog that is more susceptible to developing food allergies. The theory of preventing this occurrence is to only feed your pet dog food and dog treats and nothing else. This is trickier than it sounds, as dogs tend to eat anything they can get a hold of.
It takes a lot of patience and a careful eye to monitor what your dog consumes at all times. While many of the items he can consume in the environment are harmless, some may trigger allergic reactions. These environmental triggers will be much more difficult to identify than a food allergy since you generally know what you are feeding your dog.
If you suspect an allergic reaction is due to something your dog got into rather than his normal diet, you should try a low-protein meal plan until your dogs upset stomach or diarrhea goes away. If either lasts for more than 72 hours, take your dog in to see your veterinarian.
Is Tuna Good For Dogs
Tuna is not toxic to dogs, and a tiny amount will not cause mercury poisoning. If you own both a dog and a cat, make sure your pup isnt eating the felines food, as wet cat food often contains tuna. Cats are also susceptible to mercury poisoning, so consider choosing a cat food made with other kinds of fish.
What Are Allergies In Dogs
Dogslike all other animalshave a complex immune system to keep their bodies healthy, balanced and free of disease. However, when this immune system goes wrong, an allergic reaction can occur.
Viruses or allergen particles can enter the body through various pathways. This can include through inhalation, consumption, through the skin, or via mucous areas such as the eyes or nose.
In response, the body produces white blood cells and antibodies to eliminate the pathogens.
However, this reaction can sometimes get out of control when the body encounters particles that arent actually harmful. Particles such as pollen, dust, or certain foods can trigger an allergic reaction of the immune system and are known as allergens or antigens.
Does Your Dog Really Need Lamb Bison And Other ‘hypoallergenic’ Dog Food Proteins
In order to identify what is the best dog food for dogs with food allergies you must first understand what are food allergies and what causes them.
Many different terms are used to describe abnormal reactions to food. The terms allergy and hypersensitivity describe an immunologic reaction to food allergens and requires previous exposure to the allergen to bring about symptoms. In contrast, a food intolerance does not involve the immune system and can occur with the first exposure to a certain food. Both reactions produce similar symptoms and may be difficult to tell apart without veterinary guidance.
In fact, according to Dr. Adam Patterson, clinical assistant professor and Chief of Dermatology at the Texas A& M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Small Animal Clinic, Food allergies in dogs present themselves quite differently than food allergies in humans. For instance, a person who is allergic to shellfish may experience throat swelling and possibly a critical or fatal reaction, but in dogs, the allergy is expressed through the skin and seen most often as itch.
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How To Treat Symptoms Of Dog Food Allergies
While we dont recommend trying to find band-aid solutions for your dogs allergy issues, we also know that sometimes you need to find temporary relief of symptoms to allow your dog to start healing. No pet parent can stand watching their poor doggo suffer!
There are several dietary aids and topical treatments that can effectively provide some relief to the constant and aggravating itch your dog is struggling with.
How Is A Food Allergy Treated
Once the offending food substance has been identified, a diet is chosen that does not contain these particular substances. Today there are a number of commercially available, tasty, hypoallergenic diets that can be fed for the rest of your dog’s life. Your veterinarian can discuss the best choices for your pet, based on the results of testing.
Occasionally commercial diets containing the right constituents are not available or your pet will not eat them. If this occurs, you may have to prepare a home cooked diet.
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What To Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has A Food Sensitivity
The first step in providing the proper relief to dogs with food sensitivities is to consult with your veterinarian to accurately identify the problem. There are tests available to help in the detection of the causative agent. With this information, you and your veterinarian can begin to find a feeding plan for your dog with a diet that agrees with his body.
If your primary veterinarian is unable to resolve the issue, you may be referred to a veterinary dermatologist. Finding the right answer may not happen quickly, but it is worth the effort over the life of the dog.
Dr. Jerry Klein is the Chief Veterinary Officer for the AKC and is an emergency and critical care veterinarian who has been a valued member of the Chicago veterinary community for more than 35 years. In addition to his work as a vet, Dr. Klein is a licensed judge for the AKC and has judged shows both nationally and internationally.
What To Do If Dog Has Allergies
If your dog wont stop licking, scratching, and chewing, has red and irritated skin or hair loss, make an appointment to see your vet. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, a professional can provide more aggressive treatments such as antihistamines, steroids, or allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy.
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Four Common Allergies In Dogs And What You Can Do About Them
17 September 20
Want to know more about the common allergies in dogs? They might not be what you expect
Every year, vets diagnose more and more allergies in dogs. In fact, around 9% of dogs in the US are considered to have environmental allergies, and thats only the most common type.
Allergic dogs are itchy, and often chew or lick their feet they may get recurrent ear infections. Getting to the bottom of their allergy is essential, but allergies in dogs can be frustrating and expensive. Its important to be prepared, so read on to discover the most common allergies in dogs and to get an idea of what you might be facing.
How To Feed A Dog With Food Allergies
Once youve determined the offending items in your dogs diet, the next step is avoiding them as much as possible. You can use prescription food from your veterinarian, make your own food from scratch, or you can try a limited ingredient diet. A roundup of quality limited-ingredient foods for dogs with allergies can be found here.
You can also keep a look out for dog food using hydrolyzed proteins, which is a fancy way of saying that the protein is broken down molecularly so theres nothing left of the potential allergen.
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Facts You Need To Know About Allergies In Dogs
Dog allergies can be very distressing for dog and owner alike. With proper management, however, allergies dont need to stop your pup from leading a full, happy and healthy life.
Skin Parasites Like Mites Cause Scabies
Scabies or sarcoptic mange is a serious skin condition that can affect dogs of any age and breed. The culprit is a tiny mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. This is a skin parasite that is extremely contagious.
These mites will burrow under the dogs skin, which can lead to extreme itching, hair loss, and scabbing.
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