Dog Allergies & Bumps
Some allergens in a dog’s environment or his diet can cause superficial bumps on a dog’s skin. Besides being unsightly, they’re likely itchy and uncomfortable for the dog, causing him to scratch. If bumps appear on your dog’s skin, consult your veterinarian, who can isolate the cause of the allergy and prescribe treatment, providing relief for the dog.
Many dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas, which can cause extreme discomfort in even small amounts. Called flea allergy dermatitis, the condition causes frequent intense scratching and hair loss as well as scabs, particularly toward the tail region. In hypersensitive dogs, as few as one or two fleas can cause intense itching called pruritus. Severe cases may require aggressive treatment in the form of a spinosad tablet, which will begin killing flea populations within 30 minutes and remains effective for a month.
Antihistamines and steriods can reduce sensitivity. Dr. Karen Becker of the Healthy Pets website says you can reduce risk of infestation by combing your pet daily and washing frequently.
Dogs may suffer seasonal allergies, just like their human owners, and may react to many of the same substances. Pollen, mold spores, dust and dust mites, feathers and cigarette smoke can cause dogs to have allergic reactions resulting in itchy, scabbed skin, particularly on the dog’s ears, muzzle and groin, and around the eyes.
Other possible irritants include cleansing products, rubber or plastic items, certain fabrics and insecticidal shampoo. Prescription drugs may also cause allergic reactions in dogs.
According to the Doctors Foster and Smith website, food allergies make up about 15 percent of all known pet allergies. Symptoms of food allergies include ear infections, itching of the face, feet, belly and anal region, and recurring skin infections. If your veterinarian suspects that a dog has food allergies, he may prescribe a 12-week hydrolyzed protein diet that will isolate the culprit. The veterinarian will then recommend a prescription food or home-cooked diet that is free from the allergen.
Take your dog to the vet if you think he suffers from seasonal allergies. The vet may perform a serologic or intradermal test to identify the cause of the dog’s allergies. Once a culprit has been isolated, treatment can begin. For intense itching, the veterinarian may prescribe a corticosteroid or antihistamine. Help remove allergens from your dog’s in-home environment by regularly washing bedding materials with unscented detergent and bathing your dog frequently.
One More Thing
A foot soak will remove allergens and irritants from a dog’s feet before he enters the home, and it will prevent the licking that leads to irritated, inflamed paws. Healthy Pets advises dunking your dog’s feet in povidone iodine mixed with water for 30 seconds, then patting them dry.
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