What is good for skin allergies in dogs

What is good for skin allergies in dogs

One of the most common medical complaints that we see in our office is dogs with skin infections, “hot spots”, or allergic dermatitis, also known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis.

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems. This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs.

These problems may range from poor jacket texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to boiling spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also frolic a part in chronic ear infections. The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin.

To make matters more hard to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, an “allergen”. Most dogs start to show their allergic signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds, including Golden Retrievers, most terriers, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Ancient English Sheep dogs are more commonly atopic, but numerous dogs, including mixed breed dogs can own atopic dermatitis.

Atopic animals will generally rub, lick, chew, bite, or scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin. The skin itself may be dry and crusty or oily depending upon the dog. Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and boiling. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarian’s approach needs to be thorough and systematic. Shortcuts generally will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies
Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds.

A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to glance at the timing of the reaction.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

Does it happen year round? This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Food Allergies
Numerous people don’t suspect food allergies as the cause of their dog’s itching because their pet has been fed the same food every its life and has just recently started having symptoms. However, animals can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not law out food allergies. Another common misconception is that dogs are only sensitive to poor quality food. If the dog is allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t matter whether it is in premium food or the most inexpensive brand on the market. One advantage to premium foods is that some avoid common fillers that are often implicated in allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies
This type of reaction generally is not to the flea itself, but rather to proteins in its saliva.

Interestingly enough, the dogs most prone to this problem are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally!

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to own a miserable dog.

Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity
Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to the normal Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria on its skin. It appears that bacterial hypersensitivity in the dog is more likely to happen if other conditions such as hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are concurrently present. Bacterial hypersensitivity is diagnosed through bacterial culture and examination of a biopsy sample.

Microscopically, there are certain unique changes in the blood vessels of the skin in bacterial hypersensitivity.

Diagnosis

Allergy testing is the best diagnostic tool and the best road to treatment for dogs that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies. There are several diverse testing methods available. The most common is a blood test that checks for antigen induced antibodies in the dog’s blood.

Intradermal skin testing may also be performed. In this method of testing, a little quantity of antigen is injected into a shaved portion of the dog’s skin.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a little raised reaction, the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

Allergy testing is performed to develop a specific therapy for the allergic animal.

Treatment

Medicated Baths
Numerous medicated shampoos own compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation. In addition, frequent bathing (weekly to every other week) of the dog can remove allergens from the hair jacket, which may contribute to skin allergy flare-ups. The medicated baths we recommend are those that actually contain antimicrobial and antifungal agents as well as ingredients that permit the skin to be bathed on a more frequent basis without drying it out.

Application of a rinse afterwards also helps to prevent drying out of the skin and hair coat.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines can be used with excellent safety in dogs. About one third of owners report success with antihistamines. These medications tend to own a variable effect between dogs. For some allergic dogs, antihistamines work extremely well in controlling symptoms of allergic skin disease.

For other dogs, extremely little effect is seen. Therefore, a minimum of three diverse types of antihistamines should be tried before owners give up on this therapy. Examples of antihistamines commonly used for dogs include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Clemastine. However, antihistamines are considered to be worth trying in most cases since the side effects associated with antihistamines is low, and they are typically inexpensive medications.

Antibiotics and Antifungal Medications
Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat secondary skin infections. Anti-fungal medications are frequently needed to treat secondary yeast infections.

Flea Control
For dogs with this problem, a strict flea control regime must be maintained.

The best flea control options include the use of products such as Advantage, Revolution, Frontline, Comfortis, and Sentinel.

Supplements
The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin. These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. They reportedly are helpful in 20% of allergic dogs. My own experience puts this figure a little higher. They are certainly worth a attempt because they are not harmful and own virtually no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

These supplements are diverse from those sold to produce a glossy jacket. Products that contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include Allergen Caps and Halo.

Hypoallergenic Diets
Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before. As mentioned previously, the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic to is through diagnostic allergy testing.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

As dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for 80% of food allergies in dogs, these items should be avoided. Novel protein sources used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and types of fish not generally found in pet food. Carbohydrate sources include potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

Hydrolyzed protein diets are diets in which the protein source has been synthetically reduced to little fragments. The theory behind feeding a hydrolyzed protein source is that the proteins in the food should be little enough that the allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the protein fragments and will not mount an immune response resulting in an allergy.

Most pets with food allergies reply well when switched to a store-bought hypoallergenic diet, but occasionally an animal suffers from such extreme allergies that a homemade diet is the only option.

In this case, the diet should be customized with the aid of a veterinarian.

Corticosteroids and Immunosuppressive Agents
Cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone reduce itching by reducing inflammation. These medications are not without side effects, so they need to be used judiciously in treating skin allergies. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short, the quantity of drug required is little, or to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort.

Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, and behavioral changes. Long-term use can result in diabetes and decreased resistance to infection. In some dogs, endless term, low-dose alternate day therapy is the only management protocol that successfully controls the atopic pet. This protocol should be used only as a final resort after every other methods own been exhausted to avoid the potential long-term complications of the medication.

Cyclosporine (Atopica) is a medication, which seems to be fairly effective at reducing the inflammation associated with skin allergies and calming the immune system of the affected dog.

However, the pricing of cyclosporine may be prohibitive for larger breed dogs.

Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Allergy shots are extremely safe, and numerous people own grand success with them; however, they are extremely slow to work. It may be six to twelve months before improvement is seen. Once the allergens for the dog are identified, an appropriate immunotherapy is manufactured for that specific dog, and treatment can start. After the offending antigens are identified, then a mixture of these antigens can be formulated into a hyposensitizing injection. Depending on the type of agents used, these injections will be given over a period of weeks to months until the dog or cat develops immunity to the agents.

After initial protection, an occasional booster may own to be given.

Environmental Control
If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control. Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your home plants. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Air conditioning can also reduce circulating amounts of airborne allergens because windows are then kept closed.

Thyroid Medication
Healthy skin and a normal hair jacket are the results of numerous factors, both external and internal.

There are several glands in the body responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for the regulation of other body functions as well as a normal skin surface and hair jacket. Hypothyroidism may result in poor skin and hair jacket, including hair loss or abnormal hair turnover, dull or brittle hair, altered pigmentation, and oily or dry skin. A blood test is a simplest and most direct way to tell if your dog is hypothyroid. Thyroid testing may include every or part of the following:

Baseline T4 Test or Entire T4 (TT4): This is the most common test.

Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will own a lowered level of the T4 hormone. However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

In combination with the T4 or T3 test, it provides a more finish picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less precise than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more precise data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream.

This test is not dependable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected. This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine).

Blood samples will need to be drawn periodically to assess the effectiveness of the dosage and make any adjustments necessary.

Successful management of the atopic, allergic dog is sometimes complicated and frustrating because multi-modal management is necessary in the majority of cases to control the allergic flare-ups. Proper diagnosis by a veterinarian and owner compliance and follow up care is essential to maximize the chances of curing or at least controlling the severely affected allergy patient.



Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you’re allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours.

Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild.

Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.


Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.

This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.

Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

Overview
Your dog’s eye(s) can become inflamed for a variety of reasons, ranging from conditions that are simple to repair to some that are extremely serious.

Some of the most common are:

  1. Glaucoma: a much more serious condition caused by increased pressure within the eye itself
  2. AvoDerm
  3. Start him on a supplement: NuVet – She said it is amazing and will boost his immune.

  4. Dogswell
  5. Allergies: as with us, our pets can suffer from allergy-induced itchy, watery eyes 
  6. Entropion: when the eyelashes are turned inward instead of outward, causing the eye to tear, become irritated, and ultimately infected, if not treated
  7. Foreign body: a foreign object in the eye, even eyelashes, can cause the eye to be irritated
  8. Conjunctivitis: the mucus membranes of the eye become inflamed and itchy (This is the most common eye problem among our four-legged friends.) 
  9. Switch food – He is currently on Nutro LID 
  10. Scratched cornea: a scratch on the eye can develop into a more serious condition, such as an ulcer
  11. Wellness simple LID

There are numerous less common eye conditions that can cause eye inflammation.

Your veterinarian will work to identify what is troubling your teary-eyed friend.

Symptoms
The most common sign your pooch’s eyes are irritated is redness.

What is excellent for skin allergies in dogs

Additionally, she may blink or squint excessively, hold her eye closed, rub or paw at her eye, and her eye might tear a lot. There may also be some mucus or pus-like discharge around your dog’s eye(s).

Diagnosis/Treatment
If you ponder your pet’s eyes are irritated, you should contact your veterinarian for advice. Numerous of the most common situations need medical attention in order to get better. Your veterinarian will most likely act out a finish ophthalmic examination to determine the cause of the inflammation. In more serious situations, they may send you to a dog eye expert, also referred to as a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Your veterinarian will advise you regarding the best way to care for your pet’s eye(s).

One of the most common treatments is to apply medicated drops or ointment to the affected eye. Having your compadre sit still while you apply the medication can be challenging. For assist with this, watch an expert apply eye drops to a dog.

Prevention
Because there are so numerous diverse causes of eye inflammation, there is no single prevention that works for every situation. To assist your dog reduce the risk of eye problems, check her eyes daily for any obvious signs of irritation, such as redness or tearing.

If you own any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Question: How Can I Assist My Dog Recover from Chronic Staph Infections?

My dog, Riley(Long jacket Chihuahua) started having these breakouts on him in either 2014 or 2015…   My vet said that he had staph.

She gave him an antibiotic shot & it cleared, however it ended up returning…  I own noticed that it isn’t going away & coming back a little more… and more…  I am extremely worried because I know staph is extremely serious & is just hard to beat period but you worsen it as your body gets immune to the antibiotics…   So, he is having an outbreak now. He is taking an antibiotic & then we hold Microcyn on him…. Still to no avail, here we are. (I attached pics)

I spoke to a lady who actually had a dog die w/staph… She told me to do these 3 things & see if I see a difference…  What do you think?

  • Start him on a supplement: NuVet – She said it is amazing and will boost his immune.

  • Switch food – He is currently on Nutro LID 

I picked (3) from the list on this site to research further, can you provide your feedback on them?

I picked (3) from the list on this site to research further, can you provide your feedback on them?

  • AvoDerm
  • Dogswell
  • Wellness simple LID

(All are the Lamb protein)

Thank you in advance!!
Morgan Gail Machnik

(All are the Lamb protein)

Thank you in advance!!
Morgan Gail Machnik


Main allergy symptoms

Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
  2. swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
  3. a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  4. tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
  5. itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
  6. wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
  7. dry, red and cracked skin

The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.

For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.

See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.

Read more about diagnosing allergies.


Answer:

Dear Morgan,

I’m impressed with the quantity of thought you’re putting into caring for Riley! First, let’s clarify what bacterial dermatitis is and the possible consequences for most dogs.

The most common cause of bacterial dermatitis in dogs is Staphylococcus pseudointermedius.

This bacteria is a normal inhabitant of dog skin. When your vet says it’s a Staph infection, she’s playing the odds. Another bacteria could be the culprit but without a culture, it’s impossible to tell for sure.

S. pseudointermedius usually causes no problems at all. Trouble starts when an underlying disease process causes changes in a dog’s skin. When this happens, the bacteria reproduce faster and cause inflammation.

Atopy, also known as allergies, is the most common underlying disease in canine bacterial dermatitis. The most common cause of allergies in dogs is inhaled pollen and contact allergies from things love dust mites and grass.

Another disease that causes changes in the skin is flea allergy. Hypersensitive dogs can own a lot of inflammation from even a single flea bite. Finally, skin changes can be caused by food hypersensitivity, but it’s less common than inhalant and flea allergies.

It’s unlikely the dog who died from staph had a routine case of bacterial dermatitis. Even when S. pseudointermedius becomes resistant to antibiotics, it rarely causes life-threatening disease when limited to a skin infection.

If a resistant bacteria infects a wound or a body cavity, the consequences can be serious. This sort of infection is relatively rare in veterinary patients.

The possibility of creating drug-resistant bacteria is an significant reason to avoid overuse of antibiotics. It’s better to identify and treat the underlying disease. Enquire your vet about diagnosing and treating allergies. There are allergy medications, topical products, and lifestyle choices that will permit you to minimize the use of antibiotics.

Successful treatment requires a multi-pronged approach in most cases.

To answer your specific questions, some supplements can improve overall health. If NuVet does that with nutritional ingredients, it may be helpful. This can be part of your plan but don’t depend on one product to solve the entire problem!

Food choices are extremely individual. Every the brands you mentioned should be suitable to attempt. The best way to know if a new food will assist Riley’s condition is to feed it for a minimum of three months. During that time, watch to see if you notice improvements in Riley’s skin and digestion.

Don’t forget to change to any new food gradually over a period of 7-10 days to avoid digestive upset.

You might consider trying a fish and potato limited ingredient diet. I’ve seen some dogs with skin problems improve with this simple change.

If you haven’t noticed any improvement after three months, seek your vet’s assist. She can show you how to do a strict food allergy trial with a specialized food. Done correctly, these trials can determine whether a food allergy is an issue for your dog.

If it’s not, then that frees up some of your resources to pursue finding the genuine cause of Riley’s skin problems.

Regards,

TB Thompson, DVM

Disclaimer: Your use of the Enquire The Vet feature is subject to the Enquire The Vet Terms of Use.

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