Dog Skin Allergies: Canine Atopic Dermatitis
Written bySmall Door’s medical experts
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to developing allergies such as atopic dermatitis. If a dog has atopic dermatitis, the immune system reacts too strongly to common environmental allergens that are absorbed through the skin such as mold spores, dust mites, and grass. These irritants become absorbed more easily due to a dysfunction in the skin barrier, which decreases resistance to secondary infections.
In This Article
Signs & Symptoms Of Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs
A dog with atopic dermatitis will usually show signs and symptoms between 3 months to 6 years of age. Its not as common for dogs over the age of 7 to develop atopic dermatitis, although a new environment can trigger new allergens. Atopic dermatitis often begins as a mild condition with symptoms not becoming clinically visible before the third year.
Recognizing the sign and symptoms is relatively easy once they begin to present themselves. If your dog exhibits any of the following, contact your veterinarian immediately:
Scratching the skin
Licking of the body, especially the paws
Biting the skin
Chronic ear and skin infections
The most commonly affected areas include:
In its early stages, atopy may be mild and might not be as recognizable, but as the disease progresses, the symptoms will as well.
Take A Trip To The Vet
This tip is naturally a given, as the professionals are always the best to seek advice from. If your golden retriever seems to be itching a lot, and it doesnt seem to be letting up, you should probably take a trip to your pups veterinarian.
Your vet can take a look at your golden and conduct tests to see whats the culprit of all that scratching. Veterinarians can conduct blood tests, skin tests, and even allergy tests to really zero down on whats causing the issue.
They can also, of course, prescribe any necessary medications for your golden retriever and treat any issues with other remedies.
According to Henry Cervy, DVM, your veterinarian may treat skin allergies and issues with some of the following methods and medications:
- Medicated rinses, shampoos and conditioners
Your veterinarian will be your biggest help in figuring out how to properly treat any bad skin patches, rashes, skin discoloration, or just skin allergies in general for your golden retriever.
Vet visits can get expensive, and different tests and medications can add up. Thats one of the reasons why its so important to keep an eye on your golden to see if you can glean more information about what might be a trigger to his or her scratching.
You may be able to eliminate the problem yourself , but you may also be able to help your vet figure out whats wrong more quickly and with less testing .
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What Are The Signs That My Golden Retriever Has Allergies
Youll be able to spot your goldies allergy problem relatively easily. Constant paw licking, ear biting, face rubbing, and biting at the legs and flanks are all symptoms that could indicate your pooch may have an issue with allergies. These symptoms are commonly located on the mild end of the spectrum.
Over time, you may see more severe symptoms as your goldie tries to alleviate his pain. You may spot him trying to bite through his skin or rip out his fur to seek relief. Upon further inspection, you may see red bumps, hot sores, bare patches of skin, or sores festering along your dog’s surface.
As you go through your golden retrievers fur, make sure the issue is related to a skin allergy caused by an irritant and not something caused by a flea or tick infestation. The symptoms of both conditions may look similar at first. However, you should be on the lookout for tell-tale bug signs such as flea dirt or the parasites themselves.
Symptoms Of Hot Spot On Golden Retriever
Your Golden Retrievers behavior might be the first hint he has a hot spot. Obsessive, licking, scratching, or biting is a telltale sign that something is wrong with your dog, however, many skin conditions have similar symptoms, so it is important to visit your vet if you have any concerns.
Any dog regardless of age or breed can get a hot spot, but shepherds, rottweilers, Labradors, and long-haired breeds such as Saint Bernard and Golden Retrievers tend to be more susceptible than other breeds, hot spots are also more common in warm weather, case numbers rise more in the summer months.
Here are some indicators of a hot spot that may help you avoid a hot spot on Golden Retriever
- Swelling of skin area
- Redness of skin area
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Dog Seasonal Allergies Home Remedies
First, meet with your vet to verify your dog is experiencing allergies and not something more serious. Then, identify the source of the allergies and discuss possible treatment routes. Plenty of simple home remedies are highly effective for relieving allergy symptoms. Many solutions are the same ones youd use for yourself.
Here are some things you can do to relieve your dogs allergy symptoms:
Treating Skin Allergies In Dogs
Short of totally eliminating the allergen from your dogs environment or diet, theres no cure for allergies.
Whether or not youve figured out the cause of your dogs discomfort, you can take steps to alleviate the problem.
From simple lifestyle changes to complex medical treatments, here are some tips for treating and soothing your dogs itchy skin.
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How To Treat Allergies
Treatment plans vary depending on the allergy, but they usually involve medication, managing the environment to remove the allergen, or both. Not every dog will need all these measures, so talk with your vet once you know what your dog is allergic to.
Here are a few common ways to deal with dog allergies:
Switch Up Your Dogs Diet
Allergies are, at their core, an immune response. Consider changing your dogs food to support their immune system. Youll typically want to look for foods that are grain-free to help reduce inflammation. Omega-3 supplements, or foods containing them, may also help to reduce inflammation. Talk to your vet if you arent sure which foods and supplements are safest. It might also help to switch from wet to dry food or vice versa. Either way, changing your dogs diet could help strengthen their immune system and ward off allergens.
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Can You Test For Canine Allergies
You don’t have to guess what your pup may be allergic to. Allergy testing is available for pets. However, it’s just as complicated and expensive for pets as it is for humans. If you’ve ever subjected yourself to allergy testing, you know it’s not a walk in the park, and thus it may not be the best option for your favorite furry friend.
While seasonal and environmental allergy tests are easily accessible, they’re not always accurate. In fact, some studies have shown that blood and skin testing for food allergies isn’t consistently accurate in dogs. Therefore, it’s essential to discuss your options with your vet. They’re up-to-date on what’s available and effective in helping discover the allergen that’s affecting your dog.
Can I Keep A Golden Retriever If I Suffer From Dog Allergies
Does that mean you shouldnt buy golden retriever puppies because theyre not hypoallergenic? No! This doesnt mean you cant keep a golden retriever. All you need to do is take the necessary precautions to keep the dander in your home to a minimum.
Suppose you have already decided to acquire a golden retriever, and you or your family members suffer from dog allergies. In that case, there are some steps that you can take to make your environment more allergy-friendly. These include:
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Wrinkle Balm: Best For Sensitive Areas
Wrinkle Balm is a gentler balm formula used to treat skin irritations impacting your dogs most sensitive areas, including his or her face. While incredibly soothing and gentle, Wrinkle Balm is still strong enough to prevent and alleviate bacteria, crusty buildup, and environmental allergens.
Thanks to the gentle strength of Wrinkle Balm, it can be applied to your dogs face folds, ears, genitals, and lips to soothe and treat issues without creating further irritation.
How Does An Allergic Reaction Work
Your dogs body considers an allergen to be a foreign invader. When your dog is exposed to this invader, their immune system begins producing antibodies to protect them.
These antibodies remain in the system. Like little guard dogs, they are always on the lookout for the presence of the foreign allergen.
When the antibodies alert the immune system to the presence of an allergen, your dogs immune system will kick into overdrive, releasing histamines, which will initiate an inflammatory response.
Its the inflammation that causes your dog to itch and scratch, which in turn causes wounds, hair loss, and more itching.
While all this is triggered by the initial allergen, it becomes a never-ending cycle of inflammation, scratching, and discomfort for your dog.
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Keep A Close Eye On Your Golden
Details about and habits of your golden retriever can be a big help in attempting to figure out just what is making him or her scratch so much. Before you can figure out how to help your golden, you need to know more about whats actually going on.
Keep a close eye on your golden and monitor him or her, especially when it comes to scratching. When does the scratching begin? Does your goldens skin irritation seem to arise at certain times of the year, or is it all year round? What does the skin look like around the itchy area?
Keep a mental note or even a log of your golden retrievers scratching habits and if you have any hunches about what could be causing the scratching.
You may find out your pup only seems to be scratching after he or she uses a certain blanket, or maybe after taking a swim. Maybe he or she begins scratching after rolling around in the grass, or after youve used a certain shampoo at bath time.
Keeping a close eye on these types of factors can help you figure out whats causing the irritation to your golden retrievers skin and can help you find a remedy for them.
Intensity Of Welfare Impact
The intensity of the welfare impact varies greatly . The primary itch due to atopy itself varies from mild to severe between individuals. It may also vary according to the season and environment that the dog is experiencing ie whether it is housed indoors or outside and where it is exercising, for example a dog allergic mostly to grasses may be better at the seaside than walking through meadows. Skin infections worsen the condition and their severity can vary. It has been reported that 68% of dogs with atopic dermatitis have had at least one skin infection by the time that the diagnosis is made . Atopy can cause great suffering in moderately-severely affected dogs due to the constant skin itching and irritation and the secondary damage that is done by the dog to its skin creating sore inflamed areas that are uncomfortable and possibly painful. Owners reported that having atopy negative affected their dogs life in that it interrupted and interfered with normal activities such as playing, walking, sleeping and sometimes eating . Atopy can be difficult to control medically and suffering can be difficult to avoid during the time when a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is being confirmed. This can be a prolonged and involved procedure .
What Ingredients In Dogs Food Causes Allergies
The most common culprits are proteins found in dairy products, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, gluten, lamb.
Wheat, corn, soy and other grains can also trigger allergic reaction. These grains are heavily sprayed with products, like Round Up, that are known to cause all sorts of problems to humans and animals.
Bad quality dog food is another important part of the problem. Driven by the possibility of quick and easy profit some producers are offering cheap and easily affordable dog food to the market.
This food is often full of added chemicals, artificial colors and flavors and will cause all sorts of problems to you and your dog in the long run.
Curing Skin Allergies Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers With Skin Allergies
Make sure to focus on your Golden retrievers nutrition. Food is the main culprit, and food is also the antidote to this problem.
If youre feeding your Golden retriever food they are allergic to, then eliminating these from their diet can solve your problem.
Make sure to change your dogs diet, and youll start to see a marked difference.
The following are two simple solutions to stop skin allergies on your Golden retriever:
Please make sure they are in an environment that is suitable and clean.
Be vigilant about the food you give to your dog.
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What If My Dog Has Bumps Under Her Fur
Many things can cause bumps on dogs skin. Sometimes excessive scratching and chewing from allergies can cause small bumps to form on a dogs skin and these could indicate a skin infection. Other causes could be anything from acne, ringworm, or mange to various types of cysts and tumors. If your dog has bumps on her skin or you feel lumps under her skin, you should see your veterinarian to determine the cause and get proper treatment.
Does My Dog Have A Skin Infection
Minor itching and rashes from skin allergies can lead to more serious problems that require veterinary care. Often, dogs with skin allergies excessively scratch, lick, and chew at the affected areas, which can cause skin infections and hot spots. These conditions require vet-prescribed antibiotics. Learn more about how to spot the signs of a skin infection and hot spots.
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What Causes Allergies And Golden Retrievers Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers With Skin Allergies
A majority of allergens come from proteins of insects. It can also come from plants and animals through minute chemical molecules that cause allergies.
Typical allergens are pollens, spores, preservatives, and dead skin cells. Some medications may also be a factor. However, food is the most common culprit that can lead to severe skin allergies.
Common food allergens come from protein, especially their by-products. Chicken, beef, lamb, and eggs are some examples of proteins that can cause allergies.
Currently, food adulteration is a common process. People add chemicals for profit, and by doing so, the quality of the food is reduced.
Make sure to steer clear from adulterated food. Always be alert of labels and ingredients on the food package.
Whenever your Golden retriever ingests food containing these harmful substances, their antibodies react with the antigens resulting in symptoms.
It would be best if you were cautious about the food you give your Golden retriever.
The following are just some problems that these allergies can lead to:
- Harmful food can lead to weight gain. If this isnt bad enough, statistics show that 63% of golden retrievers are overweight.
- Eye Diseases
Summary Of Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs
Atopic dermatitis is a common skin allergy in dogs, resulting in scratching, licking and recurrent skin infections. A lifelong condition, its important to identify the allergens causing dermatitis, to eliminate or reduce exposure to them. While not curable, the symptoms are manageable with medical treatment and sometimes require adjustments to diet, lifestyle and hygiene practices.
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Brutus & Barnaby Dog Skin Supplement
The only missing link for your golden retriever is a dog supplement that will further improve his skin and coat for a long time.
That missing link is a nice dog supplement specifically designed for dogs who are suffering from skin allergies and other conditions. That said, its better to give them this Missing Link dog skin supplement.
This is our premium choice because its not only great for skin but also for joints, coat, and immune system. Also, if your golden retriever is suffering from GI tract issues besides skin condition, then this is the perfect gift for your dog.
Its rich in fiber which regulated your dogs digestive system. Both customers and vets recommend this product because its highly effective and created with human quality.
Missing Link is easy to put in the dogs kibble food because of the powder formula. You have no problem giving this to your dog, a sprinkle on his food will do the trick. Also, each granule of the powder is packed with nutrients and whole food which makes it more very appealing and palatable to your dog.
Overall, we recommend buying this product because its very easy to mix with kibble food. Plus it has excellent ingredients that will surely be beneficial to your dog. The price point is slightly higher but when it comes to your dogs health, theres nothing better than having a premium dog supplement.
Duration Of Welfare Impact
Signs of atopy can be seen in some individuals from the age of 2-3 months. More usually signs start between the ages of 6-18 months. It is unusual for signs to start after three years. Some dogs have seasonal problems but often dogs that had seasonal problems when younger will develop problems lasting all year round when they are older. Without treatment affected dogs will have the problem for life although the severity will usually wax and wane according to the amount of allergens they are exposed to at any given time, secondary infections, any exacerbating factors such as catching fleas and the weather, and the success of treatments.
Treatment of atopic dermatitis is involved and lifelong. Drugs are used in most dogs and these are often required constantly.
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