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What Is Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs? How to Prevent? Which Foods Cause Allergies?


Allergic dermatitis in dogs is inflammation of the dog's skin as a result of allergic reactions. Allergic dermatitis can occur due to various factors, including food allergies, environmental allergens (pollens, mold fungi, house dust mite, etc.) and allergic reactions caused by fleas.

Symptoms of allergic dermatitis in dogs may include:

  • Itching: Your dog may scratch constantly, lick his body frequently, or try to rub his back.

  • Redness: Skin may be red, irritated or inflamed.

  • Wounds: Severe scratching may result in skin sores, crusting or blisters on your dog.

  • Rash: Dry or moist rashes may occur on the skin.

  • Ear infections: Allergic dermatitis can cause infections in a dog's ears. Ears may become red, odor and ear discharge may occur.

If you notice signs of allergic dermatitis in your dog, it's important to consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will assess your dog's condition and recommend appropriate treatment. Treatment can usually include:

  • Identification and prevention of allergen: If an allergy triggering factor is identified, the dog's contact with this factor should be limited or eliminated. For example, if your dog is found to be reacting to a particular food or environmental allergen, those allergens should be avoided.

  • Medication: Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to reduce your dog's itching, control infections, and allow the skin to heal. These medications may include antihistamines, corticosteroids, and antibiotics.

  • Topical treatment: To relieve irritation and itching on the skin, your veterinarian may recommend topical creams, shampoos, or sprays. These products can often have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

To control your dog's allergic dermatitis, it's important to follow your veterinarian's recommendations. Feeding the dog a healthy diet, regular flea control, and taking appropriate hygiene measures can also help.

Which Foods Cause Allergies

Different dogs can have allergic reactions to different foods, but some common foods tend to cause allergic reactions in dogs. Here are common foods that can cause allergies in dogs:

  • Wheat: Wheat and products containing wheat can commonly cause allergic reactions in dogs. Wheat flour, wheat gluten and some grains can cause sensitization in dogs.

  • Corn: Corn is another common food that can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Foods containing corn, corn flour, corn syrup, or formulas containing corn gluten can cause allergic dermatitis in dogs.

  • Soy: Soy-based products can cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Foods containing soybeans, soy flour and soy protein can cause sensitization in dogs.

  • Dairy products: Some dogs may have allergic reactions to lactose or dairy products, which are milk proteins. In this case, your dog may experience digestive problems, itching, redness and other allergic symptoms.

  • Chicken and Eggs: Chicken meat and eggs contain proteins that can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Therefore, some dogs may exhibit allergic symptoms after consumption of chicken or eggs.

The important thing is to meet with your veterinarian to determine your dog's specific allergies and adjust your dog's diet accordingly. Your vet may recommend an elimination diet or allergy tests to identify foods that cause your dog's allergic reactions. This way, your dog can be ensured to avoid allergens and be fed a healthy diet.

How to Do Allergy Test in Dogs?

Allergy tests are methods used to determine which allergens the dog is reacting to. Under the direction of your veterinarian, one or more of the following methods can be used to test your dog for allergies:

  • Skin Tests: One of the most widely used allergy testing methods is skin tests. In these tests, potential allergens are injected or applied to the dog's skin and skin reactions are observed. The most commonly used are intradermal testing (subcutaneous testing) and epicutaneous testing (patch testing). These tests can help identify the dog's specific allergies.

  • Blood Tests: Blood tests are used to detect allergy-causing antibodies in the dog's blood. The most common type of blood test is the RAST (radioallergosorbent test) or ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test. These tests help detect reactions to allergens by measuring the dog's immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels against various allergens.

  • Elimination Diet: In some cases, an elimination diet may be administered to identify the dog's allergic reactions. In this process, the dog is fed a new diet with complete exclusion of potentially allergen-containing foods. Then, the dog's allergic symptoms are expected to decrease or disappear. Then, the reactions are monitored by adding certain allergens to the diet in a controlled manner.

It is important that you seek the expertise of your veterinarian for the administration and interpretation of these tests. Your veterinarian will determine the most appropriate testing method based on your dog's condition and symptoms. He or she will also create your dog's treatment plan based on the test results and evaluate treatment options such as allergen avoidance or immunotherapy.


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