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What To Do If Your Dog Has Allergies

Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain substances or allergens as dangerous. These allergies can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. As the body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms can appear.

What are some general allergy symptoms in dogs?

  • Itchy, red or moist scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, running eyes
  • It’s base of tail
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paw chewing and swollen paws
  • Constant licking

What substances can dogs be allergic to?

  • Tree, grass and weed pollens
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Food (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Fleas and flea products
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Fabrics
  • Rubber and plastics

What should you do if you think your dog has allergies?

If your dog seems to have an allergic condition, it’s important to get an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction with a physical exam, blood tests or skin tests.

How can dog allergies be treated?

The best way to treat allergies is to remove the allergens from the environment.

Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Starting a flea control program prior to the start of the season is a good idea. And remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas to indoor pets. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the best flea medication for your dog.

If your dog is allergies to dust, clean your pet’s bedding once a week and vacuum rugs, curtains and other objects that gather dust.

A weekly bath may help to sooth your dog’s skin. Talk to your veterinarian about the best medicated shampoo and frequency of bathing, as over bathing can cause dry and irritated skin.

If a food allergy is suspect, your pet will need to be put on a restricted diet, prescribed by your veterinarian, to clear symptoms. After a period of time, you will reintroduce old foods to determine which foods may be causing the allergy.

Tags: Dog allergies, Pet allergies

Canine Flu: What you should now

Many of you have already heard that there is an epidemic of canine influenza (flu) occurring in the Midwest. Researchers have found that this most recent outbreak is due a strain of flu not previously seen here in the US. So what does this mean to you as a responsible and educated pet parent? Here are some FAQs to help you understand this disease and what you can do to protect your dog.

1. What is the dog flu?

Like in people, flu in dogs is caused by a virus, in this case the canine influenza virus. The virus is highly contagious and is spread from infected dogs through direct contact or exposure to nasal secretions from coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread to healthy dogs via exposure to contaminated objects such as toys, bowls, or leashes.

 

2. Can I get the flu from my dog?

No. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that you can contract this illness from your dog.

3. What are the signs of flu in dogs?

The first signs of illness can be a cough, poor appetite, or lethargy. You may also notice that your dog has a runny nose or discharge from their eyes. Dogs with mild forms of the disease can recover on their own in 2 to 3 weeks; however, dogs with severe infections may develop a secondary pneumonia and breathing difficulty.

4. What should I do if my dog is showing any of these signs?

If your dog starts to show any signs of a problem—lethargy, cough, runny nose, labored breathing—call your family veterinarian right away. The sooner that a diagnosis is made, the better chance that your vet will be able to manage the illness before it gets worse. There is no good way to treat the virus, but your veterinarian can manage the symptoms so that your pet doesn’t get worse.

5. What can I do to protect my dog from the flu?

There is a canine influenza vaccine currently available. If your dog is going to board at a hospital or boarding facility, has a lot of exposure to other dogs (e.g., dog parks, dog shows), or will be traveling to an area where there is an active outbreak, talk to your veterinarian about getting the vaccine. While the vaccine doesn’t guarantee that your dog won’t get the flu (just like the flu vaccine in people), it will lessen the severity of their signs if they contract the infection. The vaccine requires 2 injections 2 weeks apart so be sure to plan accordingly.

 

May Is National Pet Month!

May is National Pet Month — What a perfect time to show your furry friend how much you care about them! Whether your pet is a dog, cat, horse, bird or any other amazing animal, our pets are there for us and never ask for anything in return. During National Pet Month, we are encouraging pet owners and potential pet owners to reflect on responsible pet ownership while celebrating their furry family members. So, how can you celebrate National Pet Month?

National Pet Month aims to:

1. Promote the benefits of pet ownership

Did you know that medicine is less effective in controlling blood pressure than pets are? Or that it is proven that pets reduce stress? The health benefits of being a pet owner are almost as great as the joy that our pets bring into our lives.

2. Support pet adoption

We are pet parents! not pet owners. Our pets are members of the family, share our lives and our homes. If you are thinking about pet parenthood, consider adoption. Who better to share your home with than a creature with no family of its own? The ASPCA has a fantastic Adoption Page which provides plenty of information about adopting a pet.

3. Promote responsible pet ownership

The health and happiness of a pet depends largely upon the pet parent. It is very important to consider the health needs of your pet. Are they eating enough? Are they getting enough exercise? Is it time for vaccinations? Are they overdue for a vet visit?

4. Raise awareness of the role, value and contribution to society of service animals

Pets not only give us joy, they can also provide valuable social contributions! Service animals are specifically trained to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities. The majority of service animals are dogs. However, others animals such as monkeys and miniature horses can be trained to provide assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

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