Labrador Retriever Allergies: What are they?
Allergies are a common problem among dogs. They affect both males and females, young and old, healthy and sick animals. Dogs get allergic reactions when exposed to certain substances or parts of their bodies. These allergens cause symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itching or hives in the affected area.
The most common allergen is dust mites. Other possible allergens include mold spores, pollen, animal dander (dead skin cells), bacteria, viruses and parasites. Some dogs may develop a reaction only after exposure to certain foods or medications. Sometimes allergies occur without any known triggers at all! Labradors are prone to developing allergies because they have a higher risk of being exposed to these substances than other breeds.
What Causes Allergies in Labradors?
Dust mite allergy is the most common type of dog allergy. Dust mites live on the fur of dogs and humans alike. When a dog comes into contact with dust mites, they become infected with them. This infection causes the symptoms described above. A dog’s immune system reacts against these organisms and produces antibodies to fight off infections like this one. This reaction causes swelling, itching and other symptoms.
Contrary to popular belief, most dogs do not develop symptoms when exposed to fleas. It is only a minority of dogs who suffer from flea anaphylaxis (a sudden allergic reaction).
Other possible allergens include mold, pollen, animal dander (dead skin cells), bacteria, viruses and parasites.
What are the Symptoms of an Allergy?
The most common symptom of dog allergies is itching. Most dogs will start to itch in the face, paws, legs or tail. They may scratch themselves raw and develop red patches of skin.
Some allergic dogs develop sores or rashes in the area where they come into contact with certain substances. Dogs may also experience other symptoms like watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.
How are Allergies Diagnosed?
Your veterinarian can help you identify the underlying cause of your dog’s allergic reaction. He or she will ask you a few questions about your dog’s lifestyle and medical history. The vet will also perform a few tests to verify any allergies and rule out other potential causes for the symptoms described.
The skin scraping test is one such test. It helps the veterinarian identify the presence of mites, fungi and other skin parasites that may be causing your dog’s symptoms.
Another common test is the intradermal test. To perform this test, your dog’s skin is prick tested with a range of common allergens. If your dog’s skin shows a reaction to any of these allergens then that allergen is considered a potential cause for your dog’s symptoms.
If these tests fail to identify the allergen then your veterinarian may recommend blood and urine tests. These tests check for the presence of common allergens in your dog’s bloodstream.
How are Allergies Treated?
The best way to treat your dog’s allergies is to identify and avoid the substances that cause allergic reactions. The first step in treating your dog’s allergies is to have a veterinarian perform allergy testing. The vet will test for the nine most common allergens. If any of these tests come back positive then you will need to remove your dog from the allergen completely.
There are several ways you can go about this. You can move to a new house without the allergen in the air. You can groom your dog more frequently to reduce the presence of the allergen on its fur. You can also have your dog take immunotherapy shots to reduce the effects of its allergies over time.
If your dog has an allergy to a substance it comes into contact with on a regular basis (fleas, for example) then you can treat the symptoms using over-the-counter or prescription anti-allergy drugs. These drugs help reduce your dog’s allergic reactions and associated symptoms.
Living with a Dog That Has Allergies
The best way to treat your dog’s allergies is avoid the substances that cause allergic reactions. It may seem difficult, but it can be done. Talk to your veterinarian about having your dog’s allergy symptoms treated with immunotherapy and give yourself time to find a new home without the allergen in the air.
Living with a dog that has allergies may require you to change your lifestyle. You should never let your dog on the sofa or bed if it suffers from allergy symptoms. You should also keep your dog away from carpeted floors and upholstered furniture if at all possible.
If you can’t avoid carpet or upholstery, then you should consider shampooing or replacing these items regularly. This will help to reduce the presence of allergens in your home. You should also brush your dog before and after you let it inside to remove any potential allergens that may be stuck to its fur.
Living with a dog that has allergies can be difficult, but there are ways to make your life easier. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to treat your dog’s specific symptoms and always abide by his or her recommendations.
Living With a Dog That Has Allergies
Living with a dog that has allergies can be a challenge simply because it makes your life more complicated. Your dog’s symptoms may make it unpleasant for you or other people that are around it. It may also be unpleasant for your dog since living with allergies can be painful at times.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat your dog’s allergies so you don’t have to put up with its symptoms any longer. You should always talk to your veterinarian about allergy testing and treatments because he or she will have the necessary medical expertise to help you.
It’s also important to make sure your dog avoids allergens in the air so it doesn’t suffer a reaction. You should keep your dog out of rooms where people smoke or otherwise expose it to airborne allergens. You should also brush your dog more frequently if it suffers from flea allergies since fleas can infest your home quickly if you ignore them.
Living with a dog that has allergies can be a challenge, but there are always ways to help your dog live a healthier and happier life even when it suffers from this condition. It just takes a little effort on your part and you can make your dog’s life much easier.
Living With a Dog That Has Allergies
Dealing with a dog that has allergies can be frustrating. Your dog might suffer from a constant runny nose or itchy skin. When hair starts to fall out, your dog might become self-conscious and try to stay out of the way as much as possible. Respiratory issues may make it difficult for your dog to do what it loves most, like running around outdoors. Although you can’t do much about your dog’s genetics, there are steps you can take to minimize your dog’s discomfort and improve its quality of life.
Take Your Dog to the Vet
The first step you should take if you notice that your dog is suffering from allergies is to take it to the vet. The vet will be able to prescribe a treatment regimen to make your dog more comfortable. This will probably involve taking your dog off of the cheap food you’ve been buying and instead buying something like lamb and rice dog food. This food is higher quality and easier to digest, which means less gas build-up in your dog’s system.
Keep the House Clean
If you have carpets in your home or even wall to wall carpeting in your house then you may need to make some changes. Since dogs tend to have a habit of rolling around on their backs and rubbing their faces on the ground; they can unknowingly be tracking allergens from the floor into their bodies. When a dog licks its fur, these allergens get into its system and this can cause an allergic reaction. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, consider ripping it out and replacing it with hardwood floors. If you have a lot of furniture with fabric upholstery, consider getting rid of it and buying furniture with hard surfaces.
Keep Your Dog Outdoors as Much as Possible
If you can, try to keep your dog outdoors as much as possible. As soon as you bring your dog in from outside, check its fur and skin for signs of fleas or other critters. If you find any, take the necessary steps to get rid of them. Also, if you have any other pets in the home (such as cats) make sure to check them for fleas as well since your dog can transfer these to them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bathe Your Dog Regularly
If your dog has been outdoors a lot and you are certain that it does not have fleas, then bathing it once a week should help to keep its skin from developing an allergic reaction. Use a mild dog shampoo and rinse it off well. Be careful to keep the water out of its ears, as this can cause ear infections. Also, be sure not to give your dog a bath on a regular basis since this can actually dry out its skin and cause other issues that are just as bad as having an allergic reaction due to fleas.
Feed Your Dog the Right Food
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll want to switch your dog’s food to a higher quality food with fewer fillers in it. Ask your vet what food he or she recommends, then buy a bag and try it out on your dog for a few weeks. Watch your dog for signs of gas, diarrhea or vomiting. If you see any of these signs, you’ll want to try a different brand or a different recipe within the same brand. Some dogs do better on certain foods than others.
These are just a few of the steps you can take to help your dog live a longer, happier life. Of course, there are other things you can do as well. For example, if you want to take it to the next level, you could have your dog DNA tested. This will allow you to determine if your dog is susceptible to certain diseases that are tied to genetic problems. This means you can watch for signs and symptoms and get treatment early on to prevent or at least lessen the severity of the condition.
Remember, your dog relies on you to make most of its health care decisions since it can’t do it on its own. Make the right choices and both you and your dog will be much healthier because of it.
Healthy Dog Treats
Dogs can get just as hooked on unhealthy treats as humans do. Running behind a treat-dispensing ball or having to do tricks for a piece of cheese isn’t good in the long term. Not only does feeding your dog high quality food reduce vet bills, but it eliminates the need to give your dog treats altogether. If you own a particularly stubborn dog that needs extra motivation to follow commands, then check out these healthy options.
Dogs love green beans and they’re good for them too! They contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber that keeps your dog’s digestive system running smoothly. They’re easy to break into smaller pieces and are soft enough that even older dogs with false teeth can enjoy them. Just don’t feed your dog the canned version since it contains way too much salt.
Sweet, crisp and packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Estimation of heritability of atopic dermatitis in Labrador and Golden Retrievers (SC Shaw, JLN Wood, J Freeman… – American journal of …, 2004 – Am Vet Med Assoc)
- The association between the signalment, common causes of canine otitis externa and pathogens (G Zur, B Lifshitz, T Bdolah‐Abram – Journal of Small Animal …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library)
- Two loci on chromosome 5 are associated with serum IgE levels in Labrador retrievers (M Owczarek-Lipska, B Lauber, V Molitor, S Meury… – PloS one, 2012 – journals.plos.org)