Allergic reactions in dogs are hard to control and are usually chronic in nature. This is why the right diagnosis and therapy has to be started early to minimize the allergic reaction. The most common symptom for allergic reaction in dogs is excessive itching, or pruritis. It is the high strung dogs that tend to itch more than placid dogs while chewing, licking and rubbing of the skin are all manifestations of pruritis.
The face, feet and armpit areas are the common areas for pruritis in dogs; however with the progress of the allergic reaction, pruritis may cover the whole body. There are even some dogs that scratch a lot but show no problems in their skin. Pets that are allergic to fleas may form tiny blood spots wherever it has been bitten. It is because flea dirt constitutes more of blood that they appear as small blood spots on table tops and the floor.
There are basically three types of allergic reactions in dogs where the dog may suffer from one of these reactions or a combination of all three conditions. The dog may have a food allergy where it is allergic to ingredients or preservatives found in food. The most common food allergens for dogs are beef, wheat, dairy products, lamb and poultry products. Even premium dog foods tend to contain these products.
Dog owners usually try to stop allergic reactions in dogs by visiting a reputable pet store. Here pet store employees usually recommend some dog food to stop the itching thinking that this is the main cause for allergic reactions in dogs. However food allergies are basically the least common of allergic problems found in diagnosed skin problems.
With flea allergy dermatitis, it is the allergens found in the saliva of flea that bites the dog. The flea inserts a coagulant in the dog through the saliva to prevent the clotting of the dog’s blood, and this is what induces an allergic reaction in dogs. This form of allergic reaction is a common cause of allergic reaction for some time. However new and effective treatments have now diminished its occurrence.
The third type of allergic reactions in dogs is atopy or allergic inhaled dermatitis. This is a predisposition in the dog to produce IgE antibodies on exposure to an allergen. It is then the re-exposure to the same allergen that induces an allergic reaction. The common allergens here are pollen, house dust, feathers, grasses, animal dander, mold and mites which are either ingested by the dog or passed through the pads of its feet.