What are Apples Allergies?
The most commonly reported symptom of allergies in dogs is dermatitis, which is a skin disorder that varies from dog to dog, but almost always includes itching and redness of the skin. Just like humans, the skin of dogs is the largest organ in their body and is 15% to 25% of the body weight. There are seven layers of skin, which are called the subcutaneous muscles and fat, appendageal system, dermis, basement membrane zone, and epidermis. The skin protects your dog’s body from outside contaminants and allergens, which is why it is usually the first sign of any kind of allergy in your dog. In the case of apple allergies in dogs, the first sign may be vomiting rather than itching, and it is best to observe your dog the first few times you feed them a new food. Even if your dog really seems to like the food, the body may not agree, and can quickly lead to anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening emergency. If your dog seems to be having trouble breathing (coughing, gagging, vomiting), you need to get your dog to an animal hospital immediately.
Apples can be excellent healthy treats for your dog, and have been added to many kinds of dog foods. However, some dogs develop an allergy to apples that can be irritating and can sometimes even be lethal. A small amount of dogs may have a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening emergency. In this condition, your dog’s throat gets so inflamed that suffocation is likely without immediate treatment. It is best to check with your veterinarian before trying new foods, and be alert to any changes in your dog after trying the new food for the first several feedings. Signs of anaphylaxis are diarrhea, vomiting, scratching, swelling of the face, wheezing, coughing, gagging, gasping for breath, pale mucous membranes, shallow and rapid breathing, seizures, and death. These signs will usually present right away, and this is why you should observe your dog when trying new foods. Thankfully, in most instances of food allergies, the symptoms are much less severe and includes itching, hives, and rubbing at face and ears to name a few.
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Symptoms of Apples Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of apple allergy may vary, but the most common are:
- Appetite loss
- Chronic ear pain and inflammation
- Excessive licking
- Head shaking
- Itching (anus, ears, eyes, groin, muzzle, paws, underarms
- Paw biting
- Runny nose
- Shock (cold feet, extreme sleepiness, hyperventilation, respiratory failure, slow and faint pulse, weakness)
- Skin rash
- Swelling of the face and eyes
- Trouble breathing
- Watery eyes
There are several dog foods that include apple in their ingredients; some that are mentioned in the name and some that are not. It is best to look at the ingredients list carefully to see if any of these are listed:
- Ground fruit
- Natural ingredients
- Pulverized fruit
Causes of Apples Allergies in Dogs
There are two ways to describe a dog’s abnormal reaction to food. One is allergy, which affects the immune system, and the other is intolerance, which affects the digestive system. Allergies are usually triggered after your dog has eaten food with apple ingredients before, because it is the previous exposure that produces the allergic reaction. On the other hand, apple intolerance will happen the first time (and every time) your dog eats the food with apple in it because the body cannot tolerate the apple.
Diagnosis of Apples Allergies in Dogs
Allergies in dogs are even harder to diagnose than allergies in people because dogs cannot tell you what they ate when you were not looking. The best way for the veterinarian to determine the diagnosis is to eliminate other illnesses or injuries that are being overlooked. A physical examination will be done right away, checking your dog’s overall condition and demeanor. The veterinarian will check body weight, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate, breath sounds, reflexes, skin condition, and do a thorough examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Laboratory tests, such as CBC, blood chemistry panel, glucose levels, urinalysis, and fecal examination will be done to rule out any underlying disease or illness.
Treatment of Apples Allergies in Dogs
Part of the treatment process for allergies is identifying the source of the problem. To test for allergies, the only effective way is to use the elimination diet to take away all types of dog foods and treats and then reintroduce them one at a time. Each food should be tried for several months to see if any of the symptoms return. Your veterinarian will be able to instruct you on which foods to try. Strict adherence by all family members is crucial. Medications, treats, and supplements must all be verified by your veterinarian as safe for use during the trial.
As well, the veterinarian will prescribe an ointment for the hives and itching, and may give your dog immunotherapy if the rash is severe. It will take some time to clear up these conditions so be sure to use the ointments and medications as directed.
Recovery of Apples Allergies in Dogs
Recovery is excellent if you are able to determine that the cause of the allergy is apple. By not feeding your dog foods with apple included in the ingredients, you are essentially treating them. Be sure to keep your veterinarian informed of any changes.