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Skin Allergies in Dogs

Skin allergies are a common reason pet owners take their dogs to the veterinarian. There are various factors which contribute to dog skin allergies. Heredity is a factor as well as the breed of the dog. Allergies are an uncomfortable reaction to the exposure of food, inhalant or another element in your dog's environment. The allergen is what your dog is being exposed to that is causing this reaction. A dog must have been exposed to an allergen at least twice to be able to receive an allergic reaction towards it. The first exposure causes the immune system to initiate a problem with the allergen. The second exposure actually triggers an allergic reaction in your dog.

Causes of Skin Allergies

There are four categories which separate the different types of dog allergies:

  • Caused by bites from fleas or other insect (flea allergy, dermatitis)
  • Caused by inhaled allergens; for example dust mites, mold, grass, trees and weed pollens (canine atopy)
  • Caused by food and drugs (food allergies)
  • Caused by irritations due to direct contact to the skin (contact allergies)

Symptoms of Skin Allergies

Certain general symptoms your dog may experience due to an allergic reaction can include:

  • General itchiness; possible chewing, licking and scratching
  • Hair has been chewed leaving bald spots
  • Skin is red and in extreme cases broken
  • Damaged skin darkened and thickened
  • Stopper pad of paw is bald
  • Paws red and moist between toes and cysts may start forming
  • Damaged areas are infected by bacteria and fungi displaying pus
  • Reoccurring ear infections
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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.