What are Milk Bone Allergies?
The most common symptom of any kind of allergy in your dog is itchy skin. Your dog’s skin is what protects the body from the environment so it is most often the first place that shows signs of sensitivity. With Milk Bone allergies, your dog may show gastrointestinal upset first, such as diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, the signs of allergy may not even be noticed at all. In fact, you may mistake it for a stomach bug or something else besides the Milk Bone snacks because your dog has eaten them before without a problem. This happens because your dog’s system recognizes an ingredient as dangerous even though it is not, and it releases histamines to get rid of them. It is the rise in histamines that cause the respiratory, digestive, and skin reactions.
Milk Bone dog treats are a popular choice for pet owners who like to give their dogs a reward or a special snack on occasion. The three main ingredients in Milk Bone dog treats (wheat, beef, and milk) may cause an allergic response in some canines. Dogs who are sensitive to these ingredients may have an immediate and obvious reaction to Milk Bone treats (vomiting, diarrhea, itching), or it may take several hours to days before any symptoms show. While Milk Bone allergy is not usually dangerous, in some dogs it can cause a condition called anaphylaxis in which the airway swells and the dog cannot breathe. This is a rare but serious condition and if you notice your dog is wheezing or having trouble breathing, you should go to an animal hospital immediately.
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Symptoms of Milk Bone Allergies in Dogs
Although the most common symptom of allergy is dermatosis (skin itching, inflammation, and rash), with food allergies the first thing you may notice is vomiting. Sometimes, there may be runny discharge from the eyes or nose. Milk Bone allergy symptoms may vary, but the most common are:
- Anaphylactic shock (convulsions, fainting, gasping for breath, incoordination, shock, cold extremities, drowsiness, irregular heart beat, trouble breathing, weakness)
- Ear inflammation and itching
- Excessive licking of any part of the body
- Facial swelling
- Licking and chewing feet
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing
- Runny eyes and nose
- Severe itching
- Shaking head
Milk Bone treats come in many different flavors and sizes, but the most common ingredients in the treats are:
Some of the other ingredients are also suspected of being allergens as well:
- Beef fat
- Brewer's dried yeast
- Malted barley flour
- Meat and bone meal
- Wheat bran
- Wheat flour
- Wheat germ
Causes of Milk Bone Allergies in Dogs
Because the ingredients in dog biscuits and treats like Milk Bone are so common, your dog may also be having a reaction to that same ingredient in the dog food you use, although the signs may be much milder. Determining whether your dog has an allergy or is just intolerant of the treat ingredients can be tricky, but the main thing to know is that an allergic reaction usually happens after your dog has eaten the food more than once, and with intolerance the symptoms happen every time the treats are eaten.
Diagnosis of Milk Bone Allergies in Dogs
It is difficult to diagnose any allergy, but especially food allergies because there are multiple ingredients in dog foods and treats. Figuring out the ingredient that your dog is allergic to is easiest to do by eliminating all treats and starting over with one at a time. It is best to use products with limited ingredients or new and unique proteins. The veterinarian may even prescribe a hydrolyzed diet, in which the proteins are made into smaller pieces that are absorbed easier and less likely to cause another allergic reaction. Your veterinarian will do an examination from head to tail by weighing your dog, checking vital statistics and reflexes, and getting a blood pressure reading. In addition, they will need to draw some blood for a CBC, biochemistry profile, glucose levels, and blood gases. Both urine and stool samples will often be examined under a microscope to check for infections.
Treatment of Milk Bone Allergies in Dogs
Treatment will depend on your dog’s symptoms and the results of the food trial. First, your veterinarian will try to reduce the inflammation and itching because the skin is the mirror to what is going on inside your dog’s body. So, for a successful elimination diet, your dog’s skin has to be treated first.
Treating the Skin
Your dog’s skin is the best way to determine allergies, so it is important to get the skin back to normal as soon as possible. A cortisone cream and hypoallergenic shampoo for the inflammation and rash will help alleviate the itching in a week to 10 days.
It can take several months to find a food and treat choice that does not cause a reaction in your dog, but there are many brands of dog food that have limited ingredient and novel meats to lessen the chance of allergy. It is the previous exposure that causes the allergic reaction so a new kind of meat is the best choice. They are usually mixed with an uncommon carbohydrate as well, such as potatoes, carrots, and peas.
Recovery of Milk Bone Allergies in Dogs
If the cause of the allergy symptoms is an igredient found in the Milk Bones, you will have to find a different kind of treat for your companion. Your veterinarian should be able to suggest something that may be a good treat for your dog. In addition, do not feed your dog any treats, bones, or people food while doing the elimination diet.