What are Nylabone Allergies?
Nylabone is a well-known brand of dog toys and treats that was established in 1955. This company specializes in toys that are designed to be chewed, and they have a number of products to fit that need. Allergies can develop to the material the toys are made of or, more commonly, a food-based ingredient in the Nylabone. An allergy to a particular compound occurs when the immune system of the canine responds with undue aggression to one or more of the elements that make up the dog toy or treat. Canines who develop this type of allergy will experience itchy and inflamed skin, and may suffer from chronic disorders like gas, ear infections, and wheezing.
Nylabone is a well-known brand of dog toys and treats that specializes in toys that are designed to be chewed and to promote good canine dental hygiene. Pets with a sensitivity to ingredients within the Nylabone may develop an allergy that should be evaluated by a veterinarian in order to relieve the symptoms that may accompany it.
Symptoms of Nylabone Allergies in Dogs
Allergic dermatitis symptoms are often concentrated around the face, under the front legs, around the groin, or between the toes.
- Bald patches
- Chronic ear infections
- Chronic gas
- Chronically inflamed feet
- Face rubbing
- Head shaking
- Obsessive licking
- Paw biting
- Poor puppy or adolescent growth
- Skin infections
- Skin rashes
- Edible chews - These chews are designed to be digested and contain several foods, such as beef, wheat, and chicken that are common food allergens
- Nylon chew - These products are not made to be digested and can get caught in the digestive tract if large chunks are swallowed; various meats and other flavorings may induce a reaction in allergic animals
- Dental products - Products such as tartar removers, toothpaste, and breath fresheners may also be a source of allergens
- Toys - Pets who are allergic to rubber or cotton may develop symptoms from playing with toys that include these components, especially inside the mouth
Causes of Nylabone Allergies in Dogs
There are several ingredients in Nylabone products that may cause allergic reactions for some canines. The edible chews have the most potential for causing an allergic reaction because they are intended to be digested. Allergies of all sorts are generated by an abnormally strong defensive response by the immune system to a protein that it considers to be an invasive substance. It is estimated that around 60-70% of our immune system cells actually reside in the digestive system and when proteins are not properly broken down during digestion specialized white blood cells known as enterocytes see them as intruders and attack.
Although any substance can become an allergen, certain ingredients and flavorings in Nylabones and products of a similar nature may have a higher probability for instigating an allergy. Frequent offenders for canines can include:
- Dairy products
Nylabone does have options for the sensitive dog as well, including grain-free, corn and wheat free, and novel ingredient choices in the edibles as well as unflavored nylon chew toys, which have a low probability of an allergic response.
Diagnosis of Nylabone Allergies in Dogs
The symptoms that your dog will exhibit due to the allergic reaction to one of the food-based ingredients in the Nylabone products will likely prompt your veterinarian to collect a skin sample from any affected areas to use in a cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous cytology is the microscopic examination of the skin cells to look for problems like mites, yeast infections, or signs of disease. When these are not found on the dermal cells, then a food allergy may be suspected. In order to confirm the allergy, an elimination diet is usually implemented. An elimination diet usually involves changing the dog's food to either a reduced ingredient commercial food or a diet of bland human food, such as a boiled protein and a simple carbohydrate like rice. Novel ingredients, meaning proteins and carbohydrates that are not common in the dog’s current diet, are generally used for an elimination diet. All of the ingredients in the current food, as well as their usual treats, should be avoided when determining the proper replacement food.
If the symptoms are caused by an allergy, a properly implemented elimination diet will also eliminate the symptoms. Once this has occurred additional ingredients will be slowly added into the diet until the allergen is identified. During this time, it is essential to ensure your dog does not ingest anything other than the ingredients chosen for the elimination diet. Although an unflavored Nylabone may give your allergic dog a relatively safe chewing experience, flavored Nylabones may cause symptoms to flare. A single treat of any kind that includes the allergen can cause the allergy to resurface.
Treatment of Nylabone Allergies in Dogs
It can take several weeks for the particular allergen to be uncovered and during this time your pet may continue to experiencing symptoms. Your veterinarian may recommend antihistamines to calm the itching and corticosteroids to reduce swelling. Use of these treatments sometimes makes it more difficult to determine which specific ingredient is causing the reactions by masking the signs of allergy, so many veterinarians prefer to diagnose the allergy using the elimination diet before applying these types of medications.
Secondary skin infections are commonly seen with food allergies, and antibiotics may be prescribed to combat this problem. Once the allergen has been identified, the initial course of action is avoidance of the ingredient. After the elimination diet is completed, other supplements, such as omega-3 oils and probiotics, may be recommended. These assist your canine’s body in handle any accidental exposure to allergens and to prevent the cultivation of new allergies.
Recovery of Nylabone Allergies in Dogs
If your canine has had an allergic response to one type of food or flavoring, they are more likely to develop an allergy to the ingredients over time. The approach to combat this situation varies within the veterinary profession, with some doctors advocating that your pet remain on a single source of food, while others maintain that a steady rotation of three of four novel protein foods is optimal. Allergies to Nylabone are usually caused by a food ingredient in the Nylabone and are not curable. Symptoms that are indicative of allergy will usually cease if the allergen is completely removed from the animal’s diet. Any exposure to the allergen can cause a relapse, so care must be taken in the type of treats and flavorings you purchase for your dog.