Does your dog have allergies? Here are ten things to look for:
- Itching, scratching, rubbing, and licking involving the face, ears, feet, toes, ankles, armpits, and groin.
- Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
- Red ears, lips or around the eyes.
- Itchiness may be seasonal, especially in younger pets.
- Symptoms nearly always slowly worsen with time, as the pet gets older.
- The itchiness may be so intense it progresses to self-mutilation.
- Symptoms temporary response to antihistamines and cortisone products, although these often gradually loose effectiveness over time as the disease process naturally worsens.
- Skin lesions vary from nothing at all – the pet is simply too itchy - to broken hairs or bronze-colored salivary discoloration of the fur. As the condition worsens, we can see red, irritated skin, with or without bumps, crusts, and hair loss or balding. In time, affected pets may also develop thickened, dark skin and/or excessively oily or dry seborrhea.
- Recurring secondary bacterial and yeast skin infections are very common.
- Chronic relapsing ear infections are also very common.
All that’s bound to make a pet miserable, don’t you think?
The good news is that the fall and winter months are the ideal time of year to try to bring a pet’s allergies under control through allergy testing and allergy shots (hyposensitization). This is because allergens are at their lowest levels and pets are least itchy at this time of year.