What are Jute Allergies?
The white jute plant is native to warm tropical areas with high humidity. It thrives on rain and grows without pesticides or fertilizers. This plant has a special bark, in which what we know as jute, is extracted from. This fiber is commonly known as “golden fiber” and has a very long history of being used for many textile operations. Being a natural fiber, it is readily available and quite popular, as this yarn-type material is completely biodegradable, recyclable, and definitely environmentally advantageous.
Many individuals use jute for a variety of sacks, containers, geotextiles, carpet cloth, chair coverings, curtains, area rugs, and more. This fiber is often blended with other fibers to create a variety of products that are widely used by many.
Jute allergies in dogs occurs when canines are repeatedly exposed to jute, or any items containing jute. Many dogs rest on area rugs or dog beds that may contain this product, and if they are allergic they can develop various symptoms that can be of discomfort.
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Symptoms of Jute Allergies in Dogs
At times, dogs may show symptoms of allergic reaction to jute. Owners may find that when they purchase a new rug which is made of the natural fiber, that the dog may show symptoms of allergies. Symptoms of jute allergy may include:
- Itching of the skin
- Irritation or redness of the skin
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Possible stomach irritation
- Itching or irritated paws on the feet
There are two different species of jute, which is a member of the Tiliaceae family. Each species of jute is used for burlap bags, twine in various objects, the backings of area rugs, and even some types of paper. The two types of species of jute are:
- Corchorus olitorius
- Corchorus capsularis
Causes of Jute Allergies in Dogs
Causes of jute allergies in dogs is the result of dogs sniffing, rubbing against, or laying on a substance which is made of this natural plant. Specific causes of jute allergies are:
- Irritants from the plant fibers penetrating the skin
- Irritants from the plant fibers being inhaled
- Direct contact to the material on the skin
- Antibodies overreacting to the allergen
Diagnosis of Jute Allergies in Dogs
If you suspect your dog has allergies, or if he exhibits the symptoms above, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is very knowledgeable of allergens and the underlying causes of allergens. Once you take your dog to the veterinarian, he will ask you to explain all of his symptoms and when they began to occur. The veterinarian will take into account the season of the year (perhaps to rule out any tree-like or plant allergies), your home environment, and the food in which he is eating (and if he recently began a new diet).
With jute allergies, it would be considered a contact allergy more so than an environmental allergy. The veterinarian, and even you, may not be aware that the jute is specifically causing your dog’s symptoms until thinking of the timeline in which he developed the allergies. Perhaps you recently purchased a new rug, several burlap sacks, or another item, such as the dog toy, that contains jute. Once you think about the timeline in which you purchase something new in relation to when your dog developed his symptoms, the veterinarian will be much closer to a diagnosis.
Allergy testing can come in two forms; the veterinarian may choose to do a blood test which will check for antibodies that are induced by antigens. Two types of blood tests are radioallergosorbent and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assessment (assay). Another type of test is a skin test is another option in which the veterinarian places a tiny amount of an antigen into the skin. The veterinarian then watches the skin for any type of reaction to the specific agent.
The results of the test, whichever the veterinarian chooses to use, generally take a few weeks to come back from the laboratory. In the meantime, the veterinarian may suggest items to remove from the home; if an item containing jute is the suspicious item, it may be helpful to remove the object either from or completely away from your dog’s contact.
Treatment of Jute Allergies in Dogs
After the testing has been completed, the results take a little time to come back. While waiting on the results there are several actions the veterinarian may take to treat your dog. Treatment options include:
If your dog has skin that is irritated or inflamed, the veterinarian will cleanse your dog with a mild detergent or solution. This will help your dog, at least temporarily, have some relief from any itching or burning.
Your veterinarian may choose to also your dog allergy medications to offset the allergens from the jute that have affected your dog. The medical professional may prescribe your dog antihistamines which are effective in blocking any effects of the chemical triggers that have caused your dog discomfort. Other medications may include decongestants which can help reduce any swelling in the nasal passages and diminish any congestion.
Elimination of Possible Allergen
Once you come to the conclusion that an object in your house containing jute is what has affected your dog, the one definite solution is to eliminate the allergen from the home. After treatment from the veterinarian, it will be important to remove jute-containing objects from the home and thoroughly vacuum or clean the area where the item was (such as an area rug).
Recovery of Jute Allergies in Dogs
Once you take your dog home, it is important to be sure he avoids jute. This may mean removal of anything that contains jute or burlap from the home. This is a key method of treatment during your dog’s recovery and management.
The veterinarian may have shampoo for you to use on your dog as his skin is healing. He may have also given you topical ointment to apply once a day for as many days as the prescription states. It is a very important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions on applying the ointment, if given.
If your dog does have an allergy to jute and is recovering, it is wise to investigate the ingredients of any future purchases of area rugs or dog beds, as jute may be intertwined with the synthetic material.