There are many conditions that can make a dog itch or have hair loss, including endocrine, autoimmune, infectious, and parasitic skin diseases. Therefore, some detective work is necessary to identify the cause.
If allergies are thought to be the cause, the first thing a veterinarian will usually ask is if the pet is on any kind of flea-control product. Flea allergies are the most common type of allergies and are the easiest to control. There are many options available from high-street and online pet stores.
To check for atopic allergies, veterinary dermatologists use an intradermal allergy test (also known as a skin reaction test). The dog is mildly sedated, a postcard-sized area on the side of the dog is shaved, and small amounts of common allergens are injected into the skin. Should the dog be allergic to a particular substance, the skin will become inflamed at the area of the injection.
Dogs which develop atopic allergies typically show symptoms when they are 5 years of age, but food allergies can crop up at any time. They are high up on the list of suspects when a dog first exhibits itchy skin at an age less than 6 months, or over 5 years.
When testing for food allergies, the dog is put on what is referred to as an “elimination diet” for around 10 weeks. This means the dog is fed food, which is high in protein and carbohydrate. which it has not eaten before, such as duck, venison, and potatoes.
Veterinarians offer these special foods, and some may be found in pet stores. Another option is to feed the dog a homemade diet of foods based on recommendations from the veterinarian.
If the dog’s itching subsides by at least half, the allergen is considered to be one or more food ingredients. For confirmation, the dog owner can reintroduce the regular diet to see if the symptoms worsen again.
Find Out More : Dog Allergies Symptoms