How common are allergies in dogs?

Dog allergies are very common, with estimates suggesting that they could occur in up to 30-40% of dogs. Allergies are particularly common in Arizona, where there doesn't seem to be a distinct allergy season.

Dr. Sean Penn
Horizon Animal Hospital

What are some common dog allergies?

Dogs can have environmental allergies to pollens, molds, and other substances in their surroundings. They can also suffer from flea allergy dermatitis and food allergies.

How do allergies impact the health and well-being of dogs?

Allergies can make dogs very uncomfortable, as itching is an early response to pain. Persistent itching can cause further damage to their skin, resulting in wounds and secondary infections.

What are some signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs?

Signs of allergies in dogs include itching, licking, redness, bumps, hair loss, sensitivity to touch, odor, constant licking, ear infections, and swelling of the feet or face. In cases where the gastrointestinal system is affected, vomiting and diarrhea may also occur.

Can I diagnose my dog's allergies at home?

While you may observe signs that suggest allergies, it is best for a veterinarian to diagnose them. For instance, a swollen face could be due to an acute allergic reaction or a rattlesnake bite, requiring a professional assessment.

How do veterinarians diagnose allergies in dogs?

Physical exams can reveal characteristics that suggest allergies, such as the location of swelling, licking, and itching. However, veterinarians must rule out other causes before diagnosing allergies. Treatment may involve allergy testing and appropriate immunotherapy.

How is anti-inflammatory therapy used to treat dog allergies?

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as steroids, corticosteroids, prednisone, and cortisone, can be used topically, orally, or via injection to alleviate symptoms of allergies.

How is shampoo therapy used for dog allergies?

Shampoo therapy can help by washing allergens off the dog's skin, relieving itchiness, and addressing scaling or dandruff-like symptoms. Antiseptic shampoos can also help prevent secondary infections.

What is hyposensitization or desensitization therapy for dog allergies?

Hyposensitization therapy involves allergy testing, typically done by a dermatologist using intradermal skin testing. Based on the results, a customized recipe of allergens is created for the owner to administer via injections over time. This method has a 60-75% success rate and is the only way to potentially cure allergies in dogs.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (480) 614-9500, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media

Dog Allergies - FAQs

Dr. Sean Penn
Horizon Animal Hospital

What are the common treatments for dog allergies?

Common treatments for dog allergies include shampooing to remove allergens, allergy testing and hyposensitization to desensitize the pet to certain allergies, medications like corticosteroids, Apoquel, and Cytopoint (a canine antibody against a cellular receptor for itch). Antihistamines and other treatments are less helpful.

What medicine is safe for dogs with allergies?

Medications such as steroids, Apoquel, and Cytopoint are safe for dogs with allergies when used in the proper doses and frequency. Additionally, proper bathing, omega-3 fatty acids, and other treatments can be used to maintain a healthy treatment for dog allergies.

Can I give Benadryl to my pet?

Antihistamines like Benadryl are not very successful in treating dog allergies. This is because histamine is already bound to the receptor, and there seem to be other components of allergies that do not respond consistently to antihistamines.

Are there any holistic options for dog allergies?

Holistic options for dog allergies focus on treating the whole patient and taking care of all body systems. Some holistic treatments include bathing to remove allergens, using therapeutic shampoos, omega-3 fatty acids, and avoidance of allergens. These methods can provide more natural ways to treat dog allergies.

Is there anything I need to do in my home environment for my dog's allergies?

Maintaining a clean home environment can help with your dog's allergies. Frequent vacuuming and removing allergens from your home can significantly reduce the impact of allergies on your dog. Dust mites and other environmental factors can contribute to allergies, so keeping a clean home can help alleviate symptoms.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (480) 614-9500, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media