Vet Blog

Tips for Determining Your Puppy’s Allergies

January 21, 2019

Just like humans, it is possible for puppies to suffer from several different types of allergies.

In most instances, you will be able to determine the general type of allergy your puppy is having by the symptoms that he displays. Nevertheless, actually determining the allergen that is causing his immune system to go into overdrive may be considerably harder and require a process of elimination. So, how can you determine your puppy's allergies? Here are our top tips.

Understand the Different Types of Allergies that Can Affect Puppies

There are many different things that could cause your puppy to experience an allergic reaction. Here are two of the most common types of allergies seen in puppies.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are the most common variety of allergic reactions seen in dogs in the Navarre, FL area. You may also hear it referred to as allergic dermatitis and there are three main triggers. These are:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis (a reaction to flea bites)
  • Food intolerances
  • Environmental allergies such as dust, pollen, or mold

Unsurprisingly, skin allergies tend to manifest with symptoms relating to the health and condition of the skin. Persistent itchiness, redness, swelling, rashes, open sores, crustiness, and more are all symptoms regularly seen in puppies that develop skin allergies. Dogs with skin allergies are also more likely to develop further problems as a result of their symptoms as, when your puppy licks, bites, scratches, or chews on his skin, these open wounds could become infected. Any subsequent infections may then need antibiotic treatment.

Food Allergies

Many people are surprised to find out that dogs and puppies are just as likely to suffer from food allergies as we are. Some of the most common food allergy triggers in canines include eggs, wheat, soy, corn, and dairy. These are often better referred to as food intolerances or sensitivities and can manifest in a variety of ways, from vomiting and diarrhea to non-specific general symptoms such as poor coat quality, itchiness, or recurrent skin infections.

Unsurprisingly, getting to the root cause of a food allergy is rarely simple. In most cases, your vet will recommend that your puppy follows an elimination diet to try and discover which product is causing the reaction. At the same time, your vet will work with you to manage your pup's symptoms so that she isn't in too much discomfort.

Know the Symptoms of Puppy Allergies

Although we have covered some of the more generic symptoms of allergies above, below is a more comprehensive list of reactions that your furbaby might experience.

  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Constant licking
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Itchiness
  • Itchy, runny, or watery eyes
  • Itchy ears (your pup may paw at them or shake her head vigorously)
  • Skin that looks red, inflamed, and sore
  • Hives (a type of rash)
  • Swelling of the eyelids, ears, face, lips, or more
  • Swollen abdomen after eating

Visit Your Veterinarian in Navarre, FL

If your puppy exhibits any of the symptoms above, it is essential to arrange an appointment with your vet in Navarre, FL. They could be indicative of an allergy, or even a different underlying health problem. However, the only way of determining this is to undergo testing that will be carried out by your veterinarian.

The first thing that your vet will do is attempt to eliminate any other potential causes of your puppy's symptoms. The next focus will be on discovering the allergen that is triggering your pet's discomfort. We know already that in the case of food allergies, a process of elimination is required to find the food causing the reaction. This can take several months. However, there is an alternative. Many vets in Navarre, including Soundside Animal Hospital, offer allergy testing. This is virtually identical to human allergy testing and involves exposing your pup to a range of different allergens to see which trigger an autoimmune response. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that it may not always be possible to determine the cause of an allergy with testing.

If your vet in Navarre suspects that your puppy may have allergic dermatitis caused by fleas, a thorough examination of her body will usually reveal these. If a flea problem is identified, treatment can begin immediately and this will resolve her symptoms.

If you suspect that your puppy might be suffering from allergies and you would like to schedule to get him seen by a veterinarian, our experienced team would be happy to help. Please contact our animal hospital in Navarre, FL at (850) 939-6080 today.