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Dealing with Your Dog’s Allergy Symptoms

April 1, 2015
Your Labrador retriever Cooper thinks life is one big dog park visit. This rambunctious pooch is always ready for a romp with his friends or several rounds of high-energy fetch. Recently, though, your canine companion spends considerable time furiously scratching himself. Between digging spurts, he paws his ears and repeatedly licks his feet. Cooper’s immune system considers certain substances, or allergens, as hazardous to his health. He might encounter the allergens through his skin, his food, or even the surrounding air. When his immune system senses an immediate allergen attack, the system mobilizes to fight. Skin, digestive, and even respiratory symptoms are part of his body’s defense. Fortunately, your Columbia veterinarian can diagnose and treat your pooch’s allergy symptoms.

Common Allergy Symptoms

Poor Cooper might suffer from frequently encountered allergy symptoms. Besides scratching like a fool, he might show reddish, moist-looking skin under his light-colored fur. His eyes might be runny, his ears could appear itchy, and he might also sneeze like crazy. He might also strangely attract a high number of ear infections. Even worse, these symptoms can trigger secondary skin problems that can lead to crusty skin and hair loss.

Well-Known Allergens

Here’s the bad news for Cooper: pesky allergens are everywhere. Inside, he might be tormented by dust, house dust mites, animal dander, and mold spores. He can be impacted by inhaled allergens such as cleaning product odors, perfume, and cigarette smoke. Outside, pollen can make his life miserable. If your dog has a flea allergy, one single bite can make him unbearably itchy for two to three weeks.

Remember Food Allergies

Dogs of all ages can also suffer from nasty food allergies. If Cooper’s a victim, he might experience uncomfortable vomiting and diarrhea, along with intensely itchy skin. To identify the allergen, your vet will place your pooch on a food elimination diet. You’ll banish specific foods and record corresponding changes in his symptoms.

Allergy-Prone Canines

Retriever breeds (including Cooper), plus setters and terriers, are prone to allergy problems. Boston terriers, bulldogs, pugs, and other flat-faced canines also experience a higher share of allergic conditions. However, any dog can draw that unlucky allergy card. After your Columbia veterinarian pinpoints Cooper’s problem, the vet will tailor a treatment plan that should provide some relief. If your dog seems to show allergy symptoms, call us for expert advice.

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