All Things Dog

Allergies

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Symptoms
We've all seen dogs scratching and "atopy" is often the reason why. Atopy is one of the most common allergic skin conditions. It's an inherited disorder that can occur at any time, although it's usually seen in puppies after their first year. Your puppy may begin to show the signs of this skin condition by scratching all over his body, licking and chewing at his paws or rubbing his face. Puppies suffering from atopy may also show redness around the groin and armpit areas. Often these puppies are allergic to the same things many people are allergic to; mold, grass, house dust or pollens. Sometimes a puppy's scratching may be due to a food allergy. If he is allergic to a certain food he may experience diarrhea or vomiting along with irritated skin. A puppy suffering from fleas may also be scratching — it's important to figure out why your puppy is scratching so you can treat him effectively. See your veterinarian if your puppy is showing symptoms of an allergy.

Treatment
To treat your puppy's allergies it helps to find out exactly what he is allergic to. Your veterinarian can advise you on medicated shampoos, nutritional supplements and sprays that will help treat your puppy's allergy and relieve his itchy skin. Depending on where you live, the seasons may help you figure out what allergies your puppy has. If he is sensitive to grass then he will usually have an allergic reaction in the summer, if he is sensitive to pollens this usually causes problems in the spring and a sensitivity to weeds will usually be seen in the fall.

Recently mowed grass may set off an allergic reaction in puppies who suffer from pollens and molds so keeping your puppy away from a freshly mowed lawn may help. Although your puppy may like to sleep in the same room as you, it may be kinder to keep him out of the bedroom if he suffers from dust. Bedrooms usually have more dust-mites than any other room in the home. A cool, not hot, bath may help soothe your puppy's itchy skin and it will remove the allergens from his coat. He should not be bathed too often, though, or his skin may be irritated because it is dry.

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