Allergy is unfortunately very common in canines. They can make pet dogs quite irritable and also very aggressive at times. And these mute souls cannot even convey their suffering to their owners. Often dog lovers also cannot understand what has their beloved pet in a fix and put it down to a temporary reaction or something.
The problem is compounded by the fact that humans and animals may react very differently to the same allergen! However, there are certain common tell tale symptoms that hint at an underlying allergy in the canine. Recognizing these signs and what they actually mean can help you to put your pet out of his or her silent (not always) misery!
-Scratching is by far the most common reaction to allergy in a dog
-Patches of red skin, moist skin or scabs on the skin
-Constantly shaking the head
-Constantly licking or chewing the feet or even swollen feet
-Constantly licking the flank and groin area
-Rubbing the face or the ears on the carpet or couch
-Recurrent ear infection or inflamed ears with wax-like and smelly discharge
-Recurrent hot spots
-Watery eyes, running nose, and some sneezing or coughing
-Asthma-like wheezing or difficulty in breathing
-Snoring while sleeping
-Increased bowel movements and soft stool which generally hints at a food allergy
-Vomiting and diarrhoea can also be due to an allergy
-A severe allergy can manifest as hives or even swelling on the face
While there can be other reasons for these symptoms, allergy is most often found to be the culprit. Especially when the problems keep repeating, it is most likely due to an allergy. However, some allergies are also seasonal in nature – allergy to pollen manifests mostly in the spring while reactions to dust mites manifest in the cold winter months.
Moreover, allergic scratching or chewing can lead to secondary problems too, such as welts or crusts on the skin, hot spots, loss of hair, bacterial infections or anal-gland infections to name a few. Another problem is that if the allergy is left untreated, the symptoms tend to worsen with age.
Therefore, it is best to visit a vet and explain the complete history of your pet. After a detailed examination and some tests, they can decide accordingly. Once an allergy is diagnosed in a canine, the vet can identify the source and treat it effectively based on the severity of the problem.