Does My Dog Have a Skin Allergy?

Your animal companion can develop skin conditions in the same way that you can. It can occur when the immune system overreacts to certain elements, such as pollen or fleas. Unfortunately, your dog cannot tell you what the problems are. That’s why it’s sometimes hard for pet owners to spot the symptoms right away. Here’s how you can tell if your four-legged friend has a skin allergy:

  1. Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Bites from fleas can expose your dog to flea saliva, which your pet can become allergic to overtime. A dog with flea allergy dermatitis doesn’t have to be infested with fleas to suffer from excessive itching. A single flea bite can already result in discomfort for many days. Flea allergy dermatitis is the leading cause of allergic reactions in dogs. It can develop at any age. But most dogs suffer from this condition sometime between the age of two and five. If your dog develops this skin condition, it would appear restless and uncomfortable. You will also likely see your dog spending lots of time grooming or scratching themselves. Their hair may start to stain from licking. Skin changes should also be visible. These include hair loss, rashes, reddened or thickened skin, especially along your pet’s neck, spine, and thighs.

  2. Atopic Dermatitis. The second most prevalent skin allergy in dogs is atopic dermatitis. It’s an inflammatory skin disease that can be triggered by ingesting or inhaling normally harmless environmental allergens. These can be almost any substance. But some of the most common ones are pollen, grass, dander, mold spores, and insects like house dust mites. Exposure to these substances can cause symptoms that could be localized or happen all over their body. Some of the signs of canine atopic dermatitis include redness of the skin, inflammation, and rashes. It’s also common to see hair loss, skin infections, ear infections, and discolored skin. The skin condition can also cause greasy skin, scaling, crusting, or thickened skin, and an unusual odor like a yeasty smell. Although these symptoms may be seasonal, they usually get worse with time.

  3. Food Allergy Dermatitis. Much less common than flea allergy and atopic dermatitis is a condition called food allergy dermatitis. It’s a genetic problem that’s triggered by whatever your dog may be allergic to, such as dairy, soy, egg, wheat, pork, beef, chicken, and fish. Common signs of food allergy dermatitis in dogs include itchy skin and non-stop scratching at their face, ears, paws, and rear end. Your pet is also likely to suffer from recurring ear infections and gastrointestinal disturbances like vomiting, gas, and diarrhea. Other subtle changes may also occur, such as weight loss, hyperactivity, or lack of energy.

An allergy is where your pet’s body goes haywire in response to a particular trigger. No matter what you try to do to manage the symptoms, the problem will continue if your dog is continually exposed to the allergens. Help your furry friend find relief from the discomfort through our team of experts at Mokena Animal Clinic in Mokena, Illinois. Call us now at (708) 479-2811 to schedule an appointment.