Just as it is with humans, our four-footed friends can have serious reactions to a wide range of allergens in their food and environment. Keeping your dog away from these is the best way to prevent nasty allergic reactions, but there are a variety of things you can do to help reduce the discomfort and associated conditions.
Signs your dog may have an allergic reaction to fleas or ticks include:
Adult ticks are often visible to the naked eye so you may spot them on short-haired dogs. But with longer-haired cats, it’s best to do a thorough inspection with a flea comb.
While allergies can be an uncomfortable result of flea or tick bites, both parasites can cause a host of other problems for your dog including several fatal diseases. For more, see our Flea and Tick for Dogs section.
Dogs are highly allergic to flea saliva. Just one bite can start your dog scratching. With exceptional jumping skills, these insects are capable of leaping vertically up to seven inches to hop on a host to feed and lay their eggs. Females can lay up to 5,000 eggs (that’s a lot of fleas and lot of bites causing allergies) in a lifetime. For more on fleas and ticks, see our section on Fleas and Ticks.
While the tick bite can be relatively painless, as with fleas, your dog can have an intense allergic to tick saliva. And females can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time.
Adult ticks lay in wait in grass or bushes seeking to attach themselves to a new host. Like fleas, they prefer warmer climates. For more on fleas and ticks, see our section on Fleas and Ticks.
Intense allergic reactions to flea bites cause painful itching and scratching, and are just one of the problems these tiny insects can cause your dog. Fleas also transmit a variety of diseases such as bartonella and typhus as well as tapeworms.
Female ticks can consume more than 100 times their body weight in your dog’s blood, which can lead to anemia. Even more dangerously, ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, erlichiosis, hepatozoonosis, and anaplasmosis, all of which can be fatal if not treated swiftly.
Taking steps to prevent your dog from getting fleas and ticks is the best thing you can do to avoid your dog suffering from severe discomfort and potentially serious illnesses from fleas and ticks. A regular monthly regimen using PetArmor® or PetArmor® Plus (for dogs living in highly infested areas) is a great way to keep your dog free from flea and tick infestations.
Signs that your dog has direct contact allergies include:
Your dog’s allergen receptors are located in his or her skin. So dogs don’t get as bad a runny nose or congestion from allergies as we do. Instead, they are more apt to develop skin conditions. Allergic reactions can occur when your pet comes into direct contact with mold spores, plant pollens, dust mites, lawn products, household cleaning products, certain fabrics and some materials such as rubber and plastics.
Just as it is for humans, your dog’s allergies can be uncomfortable. And allergic dogs tend to scratch a lot, which can lead to infections, lesions and hot spots or ear infections.
Preventing your dog from coming into contact with allergens is the best thing you do to avoid this uncomfortable condition. Should your dog become exposed, consult your veterinarian. However, you can ease your dog’s suffering by treating affected areas with topical solutions.