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Tuesday, September 3,2013

7 symptoms of allergies in pets

and steps you can take to alleviate them

By Kelly Rabbitt  
I have seen red ears and itchy feet almost every day at The Paw Depot. Allergies are frustrating to treat. However, you may be able to avoid expensive and potentially dangerous drug treatments by learning to recognize these 7 signs of allergies, and treat them before they become worse. And remember – avoidance of allergens is the most effective treatment of all. This isn’t so easy with environmental molds, pollens and dander, but changing foods to eliminate an ingredient your dog is sensitive to can be very effective.


Runny eyes: Like “hay fever” in people, dogs’ eyes may tear during allergy season due to pollens and molds. Keep the eyes clean, and gently rub with eye wipes.

Red ears: Red, painful ears may be associated with both food and environmental allergies. Unfortunately, most people only catch the problem when your dog begins to shake his head in distress. You may notice a foul smell and dark discharge. See your vet, but consider changing your dog’s diet as well. It’s important that the main ingredients (such as chicken or beef) be changed to different main ingredients (such as fish or venison). Also, GET the POTATO out of the diet. Check your ingredients, if you see potato, eliminate it. Don’t forget treats too.

Itchy skin: Allergies can cause itchy skin as environmental allergens (molds and pollens) get stuck next to the skin, held there by the coat. However, in my opinion it’s most likely the food you’re feeding. Again, check the ingredients in the food there may be something causing your dog to itch. If you suspect an ingredient, eliminate it.

Licking feet: Most dogs with environmental allergies lick their feet because pollens and molds stick to the skin and are held there by the fur. A very effective treatment is to rinse those feet every time your dog comes in from the outdoors. Itchy skin and licking of the paws sometimes go hand in hand when it comes to food allergies.

Scooting: There are many possible reasons for scooting, including worms, full anal glands, or dried feces in the area. Allergies cause scooting if the anus or skin around it are itchy. Try changing the ingredients in your dog’s diet, in case food allergies are the cause.

Stomach gurgling and gas: Noisy stomachs and smelly gas are caused when the bacteria in the gut are out of balance and producing gas from your dog’s food. If your dog’s diet contains a large amount of fiber or starch, find one that is lower in both. Allergies can also cause gas - it may help to find a diet with completely different meat ingredients as well. Are you using a probiotic? If not, I would suggest every dog have a probiotic or vitamin supplement in their diet.

Vomiting and Diarrhea: Dogs and cats with food allergy often have these gastrointestinal signs. Vomiting is more common in cats than in dogs, but both may exhibit loose stool or diarrhea. An allergy to an ingredient in the food is possible – most dogs and cats with food allergies react to wheat, corn, soy and grains. Sometimes, it is even the protein… chicken, beef or fish. It isn’t necessary to find a food that eliminates all of these ingredients – just find one with ingredients that are entirely different from the usual diet.


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