What You Need to Know About Allergic Reactions in Dogs in Orlando, FL
Allergies aren’t exclusive to humans! Our canine companions can be just as prone to experiencing an allergic reaction, and there are just as many culprits that could be responsible. It’s important to note that when we talk about allergic reactions in dogs here in Orlando, FL, that includes acute allergic reactions. Chronic allergies can be problematic, but acute allergies can also be a sign of trouble, and should be addressed by a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Below, we discuss the different types of allergies dogs can have, and the most common signs of allergic reactions in dogs. While some reactions can be minor, others may be more severe and require immediate treatment.
What Kind of Allergy Does My Dog Have?
There are several different kinds of allergies that can affect canines: allergic dermatitis (skin allergies), food allergies, and acute allergic reactions.
Allergic Dermatitis (Skin Allergies)
Most dogs with allergies have a form of allergic dermatitis a skin condition that can be caused by environmental allergens, fleas, or a food allergy.
Environmental allergens that affect dogs are similar to those that affect humans and include pollen, mold spores, and dust. Typically, these allergens occur seasonally, so your pet won’t be affected all year round.
Food allergens include certain ingredients in your pet’s food, such as corn, chicken, beef, pork, and wheat, and in some dogs, may trigger allergic dermatitis.
With flea allergy dermatitis, as you would expect, fleas are the culprit. Some dogs have a hypersensitivity to flea saliva, so if a flea bites them, their immune system overreacts and causes an allergic reaction.
Food allergies in dogs are actually quite rare. What many pet owners consider to be a food allergy in their dog is actually sensitivity. Yes, there is a difference! With food sensitivity, your dog does not experience an immune response; rather, they develop an intolerance to the offending ingredient(s) gradually, over time. With an actual food allergy, there would be an immune response to the food allergen, with symptoms such as hives and facial swelling, and may even result in anaphylaxis.
Acute Allergic Reactions
An acute allergic reaction is hard to miss. It can be sudden and severe, and should be addressed immediately by a veterinarian. Some culprits for acute allergic reactions in dogs include vaccines, bee stings, prescription medications, and even food ingredients.
Severe allergic reactions are thankfully rare. However, you should act quickly if you notice that your dog has broken out in hives or has noticeable swelling around the face. This is not necessarily a sign of a lethal reaction, but it should be treated quickly!
What are the Signs My Dog is Having an Allergic Reaction?
Allergic reactions vary from dog to dog, and are not always acute and obvious. Below are the most common signs of an allergic reaction. If your pet is showing/having any of these, contact us right away at [business-phone] so we can diagnose and treat the problem.
• Itchiness, characterized by intense scratching, licking, and chewing at the skin and paws
• Hives, which look like clusters of bumps on the skin and coat
• Patches of pink/red skin that is warm to the touch (inflamed)
• Frequent sneezing
• Runny eyes and nose
• Chronic ear infections
• Unpleasant odor emanating from the skin and ears
• Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Keep in mind that the above symptoms may not always indicate an allergy; they could be a sign of something else. Regardless, your pet should see their vet for treatment and much-needed relief!
Why You Should Take Your Dog’s Allergic Reaction Seriously
Whether your canine is sneezing, itching, vomiting or breaking out in hives, it’s important to take action right away. Here’s why:
Untreated Allergies Can Make Your Pet Miserable
Chronic, untreated allergies can make your pet uncomfortable and miserable, and leave them exposed to infectious bacteria. Many dogs with allergies develop secondary skin infections as a result of their constant licking and scratching, and these infections can be very stubborn to treat (and exacerbate your pet’s itchiness).
Some Allergic Reactions Can Be Deadly
While rare, lethal allergic reactions can still happen and when they do, immediate action is necessary to get your pet out of harm’s way. With timely care, your dog can recover fully, and your vet can propose measures to prevent any future allergic reactions.
Allergies Can Become Harder to Treat Over Time
Waiting too long to treat your pet’s allergies can make the condition more difficult to treat overall. The longer your dog’s condition persists, the more vulnerable they are to bacterial infections and parasites. In addition to relieving your pet’s itchy skin and ears, we will also have to treat their skin infections and other problems. That adds up, and can result in a longer, more costly treatment plan.
Your Dog’s Allergies Can Be Managed with Proper Care
If you alert your vet to your pet’s condition as soon as you notice symptoms, it will be easier to treat them. With a proper treatment regimen, we can reduce your companion’s itchiness and other symptoms, and help them enjoy a more comfortable and healthy life.
If you have questions or concerns about allergies in dogs, contact our Orlando, FL, emergency animal hospital at (407) 298-3807 today!