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How to find out if your furry friend has allergies: a veterinarian shares tips

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar May26,2024

How to know if your furry friend has allergies: a vet shares tips

Dogs Can Have Allergies Too/Jana Briede

Some people have seasonal allergies so bad they wouldn't wish them on their worst enemy. So you might be shocked to learn that our pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies. But they do not have itchy eyes and runny nose.

Indeed, dogs can have an overactive immune system that flares up at certain times of the year. These symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from everyday behavior because they mostly involve scratching, but just as you can distinguish allergy symptoms from a cold in humans, you can do the same for dogs to help them get some relief. writes Inverse.

Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, which usually do not pose a threat to the body.

You can think of allergies as an overactive immune system. Normally, your immune system is supposed to protect you from foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. In some cases, the immune system becomes overactive and begins to respond to things in the environment that it shouldn't,
says Douglas DeBoer, a veterinarian and professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

He adds that allergies often develop in the first three years of a dog's life.

Why do dogs have allergies?

Like humans, allergies have a genetic basis. Thus, certain lines in dog breeds are prone to allergies. DeBoer says retrievers, terriers and French bulldogs are more susceptibleto allergies However, the big difference between dogs and humans is the allergic reaction.

“Dogs don't get asthma or hay fever. Dogs manifest (allergy – Radio MAXIMUM) with itching and inflammation of the skin,” says DeBoer.

How to tell if your furry friend has allergies: a vet shares tips

Although itching can appear anywhere, DeBoer says it's most common around the face, paws, belly and sides. It all depends on the dog, though. In some dogs, itchiness may appear only on the face, while in others it may appear all over the body. The degree of severity can also vary. In some dogs, the itching can be strong, in others – mild.

Since most dogs tend to scratch throughout the day, it can be difficult to tell when your dog is suffering from allergies or just grooming. DeBoer offers some tips so you can best help your pet. The duration of these itchy periods is important, as they may last only a few weeks a year and go away without intervention.

How to know if it is an allergy

DeBoer also says that pet parents pet owners may at first think that their dog has fleas. However, giving your dog a flea preventative every month can help you eliminate fleas. Often, if a dog has severe allergies, it's easier to notice the discomfort he's experiencing.

Whether an owner recognizes the types of seasonal allergies is largely a reflection of the severity,
says DeBoer.

If your dog is scratching so hard that it starts bleeding, or is scratching so hard that it can't sleep or is keeping you awake, that's when you know it's time to see the vet.

Pet parents have several treatment options. The most effective medications are prescription only and range from daily pills to rare injections prescribed by a veterinarian. Other shampoos and topical products are also available on the market.

How to find out does your furry friend have allergies: a vet shares tips

You may be surprised to learn that over-the-counter antihistamines are actually safe for dogs, but they generally don't do very well with these symptoms becausein dogs “histamine is not an itch chemical” , says DeBoer.

You may also be tempted to put cream or lotion on your dog, which DeBoer says should help.

“But the problem with dogs is because they have a big, hairy body,” he says. “Creams or lotions can theoretically help a dog, but they're not practical.” But if your dog's paws or hairless belly show signs of allergic itching, you over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help.

As much as we want to protect our fur babies from any possible discomfort, allergies may just be a part of your dog's life. But DeBoer offers some tips for effective allergy management: Use flea control regularly to rule out one problem, and if your dog is scratching your skin or keeping you up at night, it's time to see the vet.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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