Did you know that dogs, just like human beings, can suffer
from allergies? If you have a dog who suffers from allergies, then
I'm sure you're well aware of this fact.
Perhaps it would be a surprise for you to learn that about
twenty percent of the dogs in the United States alone are suffering the
effects of an allergy at any one time. Flea
allergy dermatitis is the most common form of allergy in dogs,
but other common types of allergy in dogs include atopic dermatitis,
inhalant allergies, and food
allergies suffered by dogs.
Signs and symptoms of dog allergies may vary but are often
marked by persistent itching and discoloration of the skin (most common
with skin allergies), coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and mucus discharge
(most common with inhalant allergies), and nausea, lethargy, vomiting,
and diarrhea (common with food allergies.)
Over-the-counter preparations and treatments for common
dog allergies exist and may be purchased at any good pet supply store,
but care should be taken when choosing such treatments. Consultation
with a vet is the best first course of action for several reasons.
First of all, what you think is an allergic reaction may actually be signs
of a more serious ailment and a vet should be the one to determine whether
that is the case. Secondly, if the allergy is severe enough, over-the-counter
treatments may not be sufficient to treat the symptoms. There is
also the chance that the dog does not have an allergy at all. The
last thing you want to do is medicate your pet unnecessarily.
If you do think your dog has some type of allergy, consult
your vet. He or she will be able to perform tests to determine whether
an allergic condition exists, how severe it is, and what the appropriate
treatment should be. If the dog has an allergy to certain foods,
it will be imperative to restrict the animal’s diet to eliminate those
items that cause a reaction. The vet’s testing methods can help
to determine whether this type of allergy exists as well. If the
dog has flea allergy dermatitis (an allergic reaction to the saliva of
fleas, rather than to the insects themselves), an strict flea prevention
regimen will be recommended.
The vet may also recommend cortisone or steroids. Many
vets are conventionally trained and do not offer holistic alternatives,
which can be just as good as the toxic drugs which vets routinely prescribe.
So before you accept your vet’s recommendations for drugs, do investigate
You should always discuss your intentions with your vet,
when proceeding with any new regime, whether natural or otherwise, but
knowledge is power. And being armed with the knowledge of the harm that
conventional medicines can cause, and the effectiveness of holistic, natural,
alternative methods, will stand you in good stead. Many vets are
open to such alternatives when asked directly about them by a pet owner
who has done research and is looking for a more natural way of dealing
with illness, and this case specifically, allergies, in their dog.
Just like humans, dogs that suffer from various allergies
can live comfortably with them if they are detected and treated properly.
It is important to bear in mind that this is not a time to “play doctor”
by attempting to diagnose and treat a possible allergic condition yourself.
Only your veterinarian is qualified to determine whether your dog is suffering
from allergies. What course of action to take, however, may well
be a matter for discussion between you and your vet.Subscribe here for
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