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Skin problems in dogs - a sign of allergies

Allergic symptoms in dogs can lead to a long process to investigate what they’re allergic to and the type of allergy. Find out more about the different types of allergies that can affect dogs.
Skin problems in dogs - a sign of allergies

Lots of dogs visit the vets due to skin problems. Although skin issues aren't always due to an allergy, if they're itchy - it may be. Itching lowers your dog's quality of life, so it's important to address it.

The first sign of an allergy - ear infections

Recurrent ear infections are almost always the first symptom of an allergy. Of all allergic dogs, 80 percent have ear problems, which is because the skin in the ears has many cells that react in case of allergy.

Other places on the dog's body that are often affected are the paws (between the foot pads), the face (around the nose and eyes), the groin, the armpits and the tail.

Rule out other causes of skin problems

To diagnose allergies in dogs, other causes that may look like allergies must first be ruled out. Examples include:

  • Fox mites
  • Other ectoparasites (fleas, lice and dandruff mites)
  • Skin infections caused by bacteria or yeast

Recurrent infections can be allergies

Skin infections are often itchy and can have many causes. A single skin infection is nothing strange, but if the infections recur, you should contact your veterinarian to investigate the root cause. Those dogs that still itch when the infection is gone may be allergic. When all other possible causes have been ruled out, you need to try to find out what your dog is allergic to.

First, food allergy is investigated

Dogs with food allergies get allergic reactions through food intake and often react to a protein source. Food allergy manifests itself primarily through itching that is not seasonal, but can also cause gastrointestinal problems, recurring ear infections, eczema or other skin infections.

Read more about food allergy in dogs

Atopy - Allergy to airborne substances

Atopy, or atopic dermatitis, affects dogs that are allergic to mites, pollen and other airborne substances. For humans, inhalation allergies usually lead to symptoms from the lungs and airways, such as runny nose and asthma. In atopy in dogs, the main symptom is itching.

Find out more about atopy in dogs

Dog with contact allergy

Dogs can also be contact allergic and show allergic symptoms when the skin comes into contact with certain substances. As with atopy, contact allergy requires that the dog's skin come into contact with substances that cause the formation of antibodies. The reaction occurs when these allergens come into contact with the skin again.

Allergy is hereditary

You should not allow your allergic dog to breed because there is a high risk that its puppies will develop allergies. If both parents are allergic, it has been shown that there is a high risk that the offspring will become allergic. If one parent is allergic, the risk decreases somewhat.

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