Dog Allergy Treatment

Allergies in Dogs

Does your dog display problematic symptoms during allergy season? Chances are, they are suffering from dog atopic dermatitis (also referred to as “atopy.”) Dogs can suffer from allergies in much the same way as people do.

Dog allergy symptoms

It’s not hard to spot a dog with allergies. They often lick and chew at their skin and paws-an outward manifestation of the intense itching that they are feeling as a result of allergy-driven atopic dermatitis. This itching can result in bald patches as well as painful, inflamed hot spots which feel warm to the touch and can become inflected and emit pus and/or blood. If your dog is allergic, they may also display typical hay fever symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.

What causes allergies in dogs?

Like the human immune system, the canine system is hardwired to defend the body from harmful agents in the environment such as bacteria. Occasionally, though, it gets confused and thinks that an innocent pollen granule is the enemy. It then launches an immune response that leads to inflammation of the skin (hence the atopic dermatitis) or of the nasal passages, eye tissue, etc.

Dog allergy testing and treatment

If you suspect a problem, talk to an allergy veterinarian about allergy treatment for dogs. They may start with dog allergy testing which can help shed light on what your dog is allergic to. They may then prescribe allergy immunotherapy. This is available through allergy shots for dogs or through oral allergy drops.

Allergy shots vs. allergy drops

Since shots can be difficult to administer to active dogs, your allergy veterinarian may also recommend a simpler form of immunotherapy known as allergy drops or sublingual immunotherapy for dogs. This is administered orally and actually has a higher safety profile than allergy injections (so it can be dosed at home). The drops absorb into the body through oral mast cells, desensitizing dogs to allergens in the environment. It has been shown to be an
effective (and easy to administer) treatment for hot spots, atopic dermatitis, and other canine allergy symptoms. Also, rather than just treating the symptoms (like antihistamines and steroids do), allergy drops for dogs can actually address the underlying allergic disease for lasting results.