How Can I Know What is Causing my Dog's Allergies?

 |  Jan 8th 2009  |   1 Contribution


Our four-year-old Pitbull Racquel has been suffering
from severe allergies for more than a year now.
She is constantly on medication however it does not
seem to be getting better; worst of all, we do not
even know what is causing the the break out! How
can we find out exactly what Racquel is allergic
to? Desperately needing your
advice...

Cynthia
Brooklyn, NY

In dogs, allergies most often cause skin and ear troubles. Three main types of allergens cause a majority of problems.

Flea saliva is the most common allergen in dogs. Dogs with flea allergies almost never are infested with fleas. Fleas can be taken out of the picture with high-quality preventatives available from your vet. If the symptoms improve, then fleas may be playing a role in the problem.

Food allergies also are common in dogs. Special hypoallergenic diets are available. If the symptoms improve after you switch to one of these diets, then food may be playing a role in the problem.

The third group of allergens consists of environmental agents. These include pollen, mold spores, detergents, chemicals, and danders (dogs can be allergic to cats and to humans). To find out which of these agents may be playing a role in Racquel's symptoms, you will need to run tests.

Blood allergy tests are available through many vets. Blood allergy tests are capable of detecting reactions to common allergens including fleas, foods, and many different environmental agents.

Special skin allergy tests (similar to those that are sometimes run in humans) are available through veterinary dermatologists. These tests check for skin reactions to a number of allergens.

If Racquel undergoes either type of testing, you may get the answers you are looking for.

Regardless, please remember that allergies cannot be cured. And, as you have already discovered, animal allergies tend to be very frustrating for pets and people.

To read more about canine allergies, check out my website:

http://drbarchas.com/canine_allergies

Photo: Mighty Midas is scratching, but I don't think he has allergies.

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