What are Fruit Allergies?
Just like fruits are good for people, they can be good for dogs too. There are many fruits that provide wonderful sources of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients for your dog. However, your dog may be allergic to a fruit without you knowing it. Discuss with your veterinarian some good fruits to give to your dog. If you give him a fruit and he develops any type of mild allergy symptom like constant itching without an obvious cause, or something severe like bright red gums or breathing difficulties, contact your veterinarian. If your dog does suffer from a fruit allergy, he should make a full recovery once the fruit is removed from his diet and is out of his system.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to supplement your dog’s diet. But be aware that some dogs can be allergic to fruits just like people can. The first time you offer your pet a new fruit, be sure to watch him for any signs of abnormalities. If you think your dog may be allergic to the fruit he consumed, contact your veterinarian.
Book First Walk Free!
Symptoms of Fruit Allergies in Dogs
Certain fruits can cause allergy symptoms or even toxicity when ingested by dogs. Symptoms may include
- Skin itching
- Skin inflammation
- Skin infection
- Ear infection
- Loss of fur
In severe allergic cases
- Bright red gums
- Dilated pupils
- Abnormal drinking or urinating
- Difficulty breathing
Allergic reactions can occur immediately or take several days to appear. If you believe your dog is suffering an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately.
There are all types of fruit you can safely give to your dog. However, you need to remember even though they are ‘safe’, your dog still may have an allergy to it. The first time you feed a fruit to your dog, be sure to watch them closely for any sign of a reaction. The fruits you should not feed your dog due to confirmed negative side effects include grapes, raisins, apricot, avocado, cherry, starfruit, tomato, orange, lemon, date, figs and coconut. Coconut oil, however, is safe for your dog. All other fruits are deemed okay to give to your dog.
Causes of Fruit Allergies in Dogs
If your dog has allergies, it is his body’s way of protecting itself from something it thinks will harm it. While the item in question is actually harmless, the body doesn’t recognize it as such. The body finds the fruit dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. Your dog’s body produces an immune response to the fruit. This allergic response may develop quickly or may develop over a period of years. Many food-related allergies happen after the dog suffers from an infection involving the stomach or intestines.
Since fruits are not a main staple in many dogs’ diets, fruit allergies are not usually from excessive exposure to it from a dog food source. It has to be something you give him frequently, or is a main ingredient in one of his treats. Any time you give your dog a fruit for the first time, watch them for any symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Diagnosis of Fruit Allergies in Dogs
When you first arrive at the veterinarian’s office, she will begin by performing a physical exam on your dog. This will allow her to note any abnormalities of his vitals as well as all his symptoms. Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.
If your dog is vomiting at the clinic, the veterinarian will inspect the contents for any clues to the cause. If your dog is not vomiting, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to get him to expel the remaining stomach contents. If your dog is having diarrhea, the veterinarian will perform a fecal test to rule out any internal parasite or bacterial overgrowth.
Intradermal skin testing can be used to test for a fruit allergy. However, this test can sometimes give false positive and false negative results. In a false positive situation, despite the fact the dog is not allergic to the food when ingested it results in a positive allergic skin response. As for a false negative, some food allergies produce a delayed result of a positive allergic reaction. Another way the intradermal skin test can result in a false negative would be when the allergic response is localized. For example, if your dog is allergic to fruit but the symptom only manifests as a runny nose, this means the antibodies to the allergen are located only in the nose. Since the allergens antibodies are localized in the nose and not the entire body, there are no antibodies in the bloodstream to cause a reaction throughout the rest of the body, including the skin.
Bicom testing (bioresonance) is another method of determining a fruit allergy in your dog. The veterinarian takes a blood sample from your dog and tests different food items and substances to see if it has a ‘good’, ‘neutral’ or ‘bad’ response. If the response is ‘bad’, the fruit causes your dog’s blood wavelength to become stressed. Stressed blood leads to a stressed body and therefore an allergic reaction. If the response is ‘good’, then the item puts out a wavelength that is compatible with your dog’s blood which means no adverse reactions should occur. If it is ‘neutral’, the item being tested does not put out a wavelength that alters that of your dog. Many holistic veterinarians use the Bicom testing with an extremely high success rate, but not all veterinarians have experience with this diagnostic method.
Treatment of Fruit Allergies in Dogs
If your dog is experiencing breathing difficulties, your veterinarian may start your dog on oxygen via flow-by or place them in an oxygen cage. If your dog is experiencing severe difficulties and swelling, the veterinarian may have to intubate him and maintain oxygen administration via intubation until he stabilizes. An antihistamine will be administered to help decrease the swelling and you should begin to notice a reduction in swelling in 2 to 4 hours.
The veterinarian may recommend a bath with a mild shampoo to alleviate your dog’s itchy skin. Some veterinarians will prescribe a medication to help ease the itching your dog may be suffering from. This will help, but the cause of the allergy still needs to be addressed. If you do not remove the source of the itching, you will have to continue to give the prescription and possibly continuously increase the dose as time goes on.
If it is the first time you are feeding your dog a fruit and he has no adverse reaction for at least a week, then it should be safe to continue feeding him that fruit repeatedly. If you feed him a fruit and he has negative side effects, do not give it to him again. If you have been feeding your dog a specific fruit for years but all of a sudden starts resulting in negative effects, consider removing it from your dog’s diet as he may be developing an allergy to it after all these years.
Recovery of Fruit Allergies in Dogs
If your dog does have an allergy to a fruit, do not feed it to him. If his allergic reaction is mild, prognosis for a full recovery is good. If your dog suffers a more severe allergic reaction, his prognosis for a full recovery declines. The sooner you get your dog to a veterinarian, the better his chances of not suffering any long-term side effects.
If you want to add fruits to your dog’s diet but are nervous, talk with your veterinarian about it. She will be able to recommend some good ones that your dog will enjoy. Supplementing your dog’s diet with fruit is not only a benefit nutritionally, but also gives them a new form of a snack and therefore a new form of mental stimulation.