Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recog-nize certain everyday substances - or allergens - as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dogs skin. As the body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.

Signs your dog has allergies:

  • Biting hind quarters
  • Scratching or pawing at her ears
  • Shaking her head from side to side
  • Yeasty smell from ears
  • Uncontrollable itching and licking
  • Brown, rough spots on her knees
  • Hot Spots
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose or dry, crusty nose
  • Hair loss (shearing of hair on any part of the body)
  • Scabby or scaly patches on skin
  • Behavioral changes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive shedding

Causes of dog allergies:
  • Inhalant / seasonal... pollen during any season of the year (similar to hay fever in humans)
  • Food sensitivites... beef, chicken, dairy, corn/grain etc
  • Environmental... dust mites, mold, grass, wool, feathers, ticks, mosquitoes, the list is endless and Zoe has most of them
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Yeast or bacterial infections

Treatments for dog allergies:
  • Food challenges: eliminate all but the most basic ingredients, then introduce one food such as eggs back into the diet and then monitor the reaction over the course of a week
  • Special diets - low allergen foods available by prescription through your veterinarian or limited ingredient foods from your vet or a pet store
  • Make your own food - raw diet, cook for your dog
  • Allergy testing (intradermal or rush immunotherapy) by a board certified animal dermatologist
  • Antigen therapy... series of injections specially blended for your dog (dog has been tested for allergies and allergy triggers are known). Zoe has these injections each Sunday
  • Special shampoos and conditioners containing ingredients to calm itchy, dry skin such as oatmeal or essential oils (lavender)
  • Remove offending environmental factors from any area the dog inhabits