Is your dog scratching too much, licking and biting its skin, feet and ears? Or probably has reddish scaly areas on the skin or have bumps or pus filled vesicles on the skin? Or probably be shaking his head more often than usual as you noticed his kin getting thick and loosing hair? If all these plus presence of skin pigmentation and salivary brown staining are observable, then your dog must have allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis is a term generally used to refer to group of skin allergies that may be brought about by several major or minor factors in dogs.
What is an allergy to start with? Allergies are basically immune reactions to a given substance that is called allergen. Allergen is recognized by the body as ‘foreign’ substance and because it is identified by the body as foreign, body reactions commence to occur right after the first exposure to the particular allergen. If this reaction to allergen develops afterwards, hypersensitivity arises causing sever itching ad inflammation especially after the next exposure to such allergen. There are three common classes of allergic dermatitis in dogs: the first one is flea bite allergy or flea bite hypersensitivity. This involves a low flea burden amongst animals that may have severe allergic dermatitis. This occurs in dogs that are in their three to six year olds. It is found mostly at the back end of dogs but usually they are easily identified.
Second is atopy. Atopy is an allergic inhalant dermatitis. Meaning, this is a kind of allergy that is inhaled or absorbed through the skin. The face, feet and armpits of one to three year old dogs are the usual areas affected however when severe, it could affect the whole body of the dog.
Third is food allergy. Certain chemical components of food may cause allergic reaction to dogs. This is especially triggered when the type of food is given to the dog frequently. Aside from dermatitis, diarrhea and vomiting and possible food poisoning may transpire and this could be experience by dogs regardless of their age.
Other factors causing allergic dermatitis in dogs include contact allergy or irritant such as when a topical treatment is applied to an area of the dog’s skin, reactions may occur. Aside from this, contact to fibers, furry materials, carpet, finishes on a floor may likewise be agents causing allergic dermatitis in dogs. The usual affected part of the body is the ventral area or the underside of the dog’s body where there’s less hair. Drug allergy is also a factor causing allergic dermatitis such as antibiotics and other medications that may be not be identified by the dogs hormones causing them to fight against it and trigger allergies.
On the other hand, too much licking on the skin and those with skin bacteria especially on wounded areas may cause pyoderma. Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that may occur with allergic dermatitis. Furthermore, yeast infection, scabies caused by mites, cheyletiellosis (a type of mite), and lice infestation also called pediculosis are the other common factors causing allergic dermatitis in dogs.
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