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You know how miserable you get during allergy season- red, watery eyes, stuffy nose, endless sneezing, and so on. Your dog suffers from allergies, too, although his come out through his skin! Dogs can be allergic to the same things as people, pollen and other plant matter, wool, and most often, food items such as dairy, corn, or beef. If you notice your dog is excessively scratching, licking, or biting an area of his skin, chances are he’s having some sort of allergic reaction. With the help of your vet, you can determine what action to take. Simply changing your pet’s diet may help, or seasonal antihistamines may be needed.
Untreated Allergies Can Lead To...
If you don’t happen to notice your dog’s itching, the constant aggravation can lead to Hot Spots or Acute Moist Dermatitis. This is when your dog itches to the point of causing an infection. If itching persists, another type of infection can occur, called Pyoderma. This infection is more severe and often involves pus filled pockets under the skin. If you notice any of these severe symptoms on pet please consult your veterinarian for an appropriate couse of action. Treatment may involve a change in diet, medicated shampoos or ointments and oral medication.
Other Causes of Skin Irritation
Other parasites (besides fleas) can cause skin irritation. Many times these are microscopic and can only be diagnosed via a skin scraping. Untreated parasites can cause secondary infections like Hot Spots. Fungal infections such as ringworm also affect dogs, though these are rare. Again, if left untreated, many times a secondary infection will occur.
The most important thing is to catch the itching early, before it leads to secondary infections! If you groom your dog, be on the look out for raw, red spots. The sooner you notice an itch, the sooner your dog can get relief!