Help Your Dog Overcome These 3 Common Allergies...
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
If your dog seems to have an allergic condition, it's important to get an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can.
Unlike the vast majority of traditional DVMs, I wholeheartedly disagree your pet should be started right away on a regimen of anti-allergy drugs and antibiotics and/or anti-viral medications.
There are safer ways to relieve your dog's symptoms than pharmaceuticals while you and your vet work to discover the root cause of the allergic reaction.
Relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix to what can become a lifelong health problem. And certain drugs used to stop the allergic cycle have significant, potentially very serious side effects.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
Flea allergy dermatitis, which is actually sensitivity to flea saliva, is a very common condition in dogs. It's not the bite of the flea that causes most of the itching in dogs with FAD, it's the saliva.
The saliva causes irritation way out of proportion to the actual number of fleas on the pup.
Lots of dog parents assume if their pet isn't infested with fleas, the itching can't be caused by fleas. But if your dog has FAD, the saliva of just one or two fleas can make him miserably itchy and uncomfortable for many weeks (long past the death of those two fleas).
Suggestions for flea control:
If your dog has an allergy to something he's eating, it may show itself not only as digestive upset (gas, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), but also as one or several of these symptoms:
In addition to flea saliva and certain foods/ingredients, your dog can also be allergic to an infinite variety of irritants in the environment. These can be outdoor allergens like ragweed, grasses and pollens, as well as indoor irritants like mold, dust mites, cleaning chemicals and even fabrics like wool or cotton.
As a general rule, if your dog is allergic to something inside your home, he'll have year-round symptoms. If he's reacting is to something outdoors, it could very well be a seasonal problem.
Also, your pet's immune system is partly genetic, so he can actually inherit a tendency toward environmental allergies.
Finding the root cause of this type of allergy is extremely important, because what usually happens is the more your pet is exposed to an irritant, the more his sensitivity and reaction to it grows.
Some suggestions for finding and resolving environmental irritants:
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