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Suspect Your Itchy Dog Has a Food Allergy?

If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, follow these steps:

Will Your Allergic Dog Benefit From a Food Elimination Diet?

When your dog itches, you know it. That relentless licking, scratching, chewing – anything he can do to relieve the itch. He seems obsessed, and he probably is. Whatever you do, don't ignore this problem (as if you could!). Incessant scratching and chewing may indicate food allergy. He'll constantly tear into any place on his body that he can reach with his teeth or claws. You may see ugly hair loss. Until you find the cause, this problem will go from bad to worse.

Dog Food Elimination Trials Are Worth The Effort

Allergies can literally cause a dog to tear his hair out, setting acute moist dermatitis (hot spots") into motion and triggering fits of paw-licking and head-shaking (caused by allergy-induced ear inflammation and infection). When this happens

Commercial Foods For Allergic Dogs

Owners who don't feel capable of or willing to carry out a rigorous trial may prefer to try a commercial dog food that has been processed in such a way as to render the proteins hypoallergenic, or one designed specifically for use in an elimination diet. Chances are good that your veterinarian carries at least one of these types of food. Some are limited-ingredient diets, available over the counter; others are prescription diets. All cost around 30 percent more than even the best nonprescription dog foods.

10 Steps to Healthy Skin and a Silky Coat for Your Dog

All dog lovers appreciate seeing a healthy, happy dog, running in the sun with a glistening coat. And it's great to hear, Wow! Your dog's coat is so soft and shiny. How do you do it?" It's wonderful if you are one of the lucky owners whose dog inspires this sort of spontaneous compliment

Treating Your Dog’s Corns and Warts

Corns and plantar warts may be common on human feet, but they’re rare in dogs – unless the dog is a Greyhound. This breed is prone to corns. Corns are keratin calluses on the front center paw pads, such as under the second toe bone, which lacks subcutaneous tissue or padding. A common treatment for corns is their removal with a small curette or scalpel, followed by smoothing with a pumice stone and the application of salicylic acid pads or ointments. Roberta Mikkelsen of Pearl River, New York, hoped that hulling (surgical removal) would help her Greyhound, Chip, recover from his painful corns. “This is such a common problem in the breed,” she says, “that there is an online forum where people list the things that did or didn’t help. So far there isn’t a cure.” After Chip’s corn was removed, it grew back.

Identifying and Treating Skin Conditions that can Affect Your Dog

Yikes! What happened to Fido’s nose? And what’s wrong with Fluffy’s paw pads? The possibilities are many, and a surprising number of nose and paw pad problems are related. Because illnesses in this category often have similar or identical symptoms, a veterinarian’s diagnosis can be important. The following overview will help you identify, prevent, or treat these disorders. The most frequently asked questions about dogs’ noses concern color. Dogs have black or dark noses and paw pads because of melanin, a pigment that darkens skin. When melanin production slows or stops, the skin lightens uniformly or in patches. The term nasodigital refers to both nose and toes. A thickening of the outer layer of skin (hyperkeratosis) at the edges of the nose or paw pads can develop into painful cracks, fissures, erosions, and ulcers.

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

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.

Behavior Modification for Itchy Dogs

Excessive self-licking and chewing can be caused by a medical issue. It can also be a behavioral problem, a classic example of an obsessive/compulsive disorder. Either way, it's annoying to the dog's human companion, and dangerous to the health of the dog. Here are tips for dealing with dogs who self-lick and chew excessively. To begin behavior modification, determine your dog's stressors and start eliminating them. Make a list of everything?you can think that is stresses your dog – even just a little bit, even if the stressors don't seem directly related to the licking. Your list might include thunder, small children, dogs on television, cats, riding in cars, visits to the vet, shock collars, medical issues, and many more. Most owners can identify between 10 and 20 stressors for their dogs.

A Canine Allergy Glossary

An Allergen is defined as a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Anything can be an allergen to a hypersensitive individual, even water. The term has meaning only in relation to an individual who is hypersensitive to that substance.

When It Comes to Allergy Tests, Some Dogs Flunk

There are a few different types of tests available that purport to identify the allergens to which a dog is hypersensitive; some of them are helpful, and some are a waste of time and money. Since all of them are commonly referred to as allergy tests

Food Elimination Trial: A Valuable Tool (When Done Correctly)

A valid food elimination trial for the purpose of confirming food hypersensitivity consists of three phases: elimination, challenge, and provocation. In the first (elimination) phase, the dog is fed a diet consisting of a single protein source and a single carbohydrate source. Both of these ingredients should be completely “novel” to the dog – foods he’s never eaten before. (Thirty years ago, lamb and rice was the go-to food elimination diet, because those ingredients were not yet widely available in commercial pet foods. Because the diet was novel, few dogs had developed allergies to those ingredients, and “lamb and rice” gained an unearned reputation as a “hypoallergenic” diet.

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