Allergies in dogs are common but often it becomes so hard to diagnose them. Because you don’t know which thing is triggering allergies. A dog may have a food allergy, environmental allergy, atopic dermatitis (eczema), pollen or grass allergy, etc.
Only a veterinarian may diagnose which type of allergy your pet has. The signs and symptoms of these all kinds of allergies in dogs are (almost) the same and you can easily figure out that your pet is suffering from an allergy (no matter which kinda allergy type is this) easily.
In the following piece of article, I have shared the most common signs and symptoms of allergies in dogs that cause discomfort in your pet’s life.
Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs
Below are some common signs and symptoms of pet allergies;
- Skin irritations
- Swelling or inflammation of the paws, face, or skin
- Runny nose
- Upset stomach
- If the dog is licking his paws, ears, or other parts of the body consistently
- Dry & irritating cough
- Watery eyes
Above are the common signs and symptoms that confirm that your pet is (most probably) suffering from a type of allergy.
Reasons Behind Allergy Symptoms
A question may arise in your mind “Why do pets develop allergies?” and become sensitive to a specific substance”. No worries, the answer is here.
Your pet is suffering from these allergy symptoms because the immune system (defense system of the body) unrecognized the foreign substance and sees it as a threat to the body.
The foreign substance (allergen: causing allergy) could be food, dust, grass, toys, a specific material, etc. When a dog gets exposed to this material or substance his body shows response and the immune system of the body starts releasing specific types of cytokines and histamines.
These histamines alert the body to the possible threat and increase the blood flow in specific areas of the body. Hence, causes inflammation or swelling.
Cytokines released by the immune system cause itching, irritations, rashes, etc. Dogs start scratching and licking their body parts madly which increases the risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection.
Food Allergy Symptoms in Dogs
You must be aware of the food allergy and food intolerance. The symptoms for both disorders could be the same as in both cases a dog may get digestive system troubles. But if the upset stomach is caused by the immune system response, it’s called a food allergy. While on the other hand, if the digestive problems are not caused by the immune system, it could be a food intolerance.
Digestive system disorders, i.e. gas, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, GERD, acidity, heartburn, stomach ulcers, constipation, etc are the common signs and symptoms of food allergy in dogs. However, food allergy in dogs may also cause itching, swelling, or inflammation on the skin, redness, rashes, dry mouth, etc.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) Symptoms
Most researches support that it’s an inherited disease and doesn’t have a permanent treatment. Medications like Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate) tablets, Cytopoint injection (Lokivetmab), and steroids are available for the treatment of atopic dermatitis but they provide temporary relief.
Once the pet discontinues the medication, the symptoms return and the discomfort begins. Also, regular use of steroids and immunosuppressive drugs for allergies in dogs increases the risks of infections and cancer.
Common signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs include skin inflammation (swelling), irritation, itching, redness, and rashes on the skin.
Environmental or Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Dogs
Common signs and symptoms of this kind of allergy in dogs are runny noses, watery eyes, persistent cough, kennel cough, stuffy nose, wheezing, sneezing, sore throat, dry mouth, upset stomach, diarrhea, colds, vomiting, etc.
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is the best treatment for treating seasonal allergies in dogs. The veterinarian may suggest other antihistamines like cetirizine, clemastine, pheniramine, etc, and even steroids, i.e. prednisolone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, etc.