Features April 2011 Issue

Canine Allergies: Most Common Causes, Best Tests, and Effective Treatments

This five-year-old dog had severe allergies. His coat is thin and his skin is thick and scaly everywhere he’s been able to rub, lick, or scratch. Up until this point, his food was never changed; his vet prescribed nothing but steroids.

Canine Allergies: Most Common Causes, Best Tests, and Effective Treatments

The major symptom of every type of allergy in dogs is itching.

Maybe this has happened to you: You’re reading or watching TV or at your computer, and your dog is lying on the carpet near you. You’re absorbed in what you are doing, but all of a sudden, you realize that your dog is licking or chewing himself, or scratching his ear with a hind paw. “Hey!” you say to your dog. “Stop that!” Your dog stops, looks at you, and wags his tail. You go back to doing what you were doing – and a few minutes later, you hear the tell-tale sounds of licking or chewing or scratching again. Every dog does a certain amount of self-grooming to keep himself clean – and every dog owner should be aware of how much is normal, and how much is too much, because “too much” is often the first indication that a dog is having an allergy attack.

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