What are Olive Oil Allergies?
These days, dog owners are becoming more health conscious when it comes to their dog’s diet. Many owners find new products to supplement their dog’s diet with in order to keep them at their healthiest. However, sometimes too much of a good thing can actually lead to problems. In regards to olive oil, it can be very beneficial to your dog for a number of health related issues and well as skin and coat health. Since olive oil is already in most dog foods, when you add additional amounts on top of it, it can actually cause your dog to have too much and an imbalance can occur resulting in negative side effects. Luckily, once you stop supplementing your dog’s diet with extra olive oil, his prognosis of a full recovery is good.
Olive oil is a commonly used substance in cooking and as an ingredient in foods. While rare, it is possible your dog cannot tolerate it very well. If you suspect your dog may be allergic to olive oil, consult it with your veterinarian.
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Symptoms of Olive Oil Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of olive oil allergies in dogs are similar to other food-related allergies. Symptoms may include:
- Itchy skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Hair loss
- Hot spots
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Loose stools
Allergy-like symptoms may develop immediately, over a period of days or months.
When you go to the store, you can see there are many brands of olive oil you can use to supplement your dog’s diet. There are good brands and then there are the not so good brands, especially for your dog. If you are considering giving olive oil to your dog, discuss it with your veterinarian first.
Causes of Olive Oil Allergies in Dogs
Most diets for dogs, whether purchased or homemade, are rich with omega-6 fatty acids. When you add additional olive oil to your dog’s diet, instead of being beneficial, it can create an imbalance. This imbalance will lead to skin problems in your dog. In addition to an imbalance, there are some dogs who do not tolerate olive oil very well and this can lead to gastrointestinal upset.
Diagnosis of Olive Oil Allergies in Dogs
Blood work will be performed on your pet after the physical examination, which is the first step. Bloodwork will provide information as to how the internal organs are functioning after the allergic reaction to the olive oil. 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, specifically if your pet has diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.
Bicom testing, intradermal allergen investigation, and analysis by serum allergy test are options for diagnosing the olive oil allergy. Your veterinarian will discuss these diagnostic methods with you, and together you can determine the viability of use in your pet’s situation.
A dietary trial is the most frequently used method for a food allergy. In a dietary trial, you have to feed your dog a novel diet, meaning you feed him a diet without excessive olive oil. You have to feed your dog the novel diet for at least 90 days before you can get a reliable diagnostic. After the 90 days, if resolution of the allergic signs occurs, you then must reintroduce the olive oil to his diet. If a relapse in allergy symptoms occurs once olive oil is reintroduced, then you know the source.
Treatment of Olive Oil Allergies in Dogs
Strict control of the diet is the best treatment of olive oil related allergies. It can be a long, discouraging process, but once you discover if this is the source of allergen and you are able to successfully remove it from his diet, you and your dog will both be better off.
Adherence to Diet
Adherence to the dietary change must be followed by all family members, with attention being paid to treats, supplements, and medications. Verifying the ingredients of any food item considered for your pet is vital. If you are not sure if a particular food item is safe, call the clinic and check with a member of the veterinary team.
Your veterinarian will prescribe medications, ointments, and shampoos as necessary to provide relief for your pet from the symptoms of itchy, irritated skin.
Recovery of Olive Oil Allergies in Dogs
When you remove excessive olive oil from your dog’s diet, his prognosis of a full recovery is good. When the allergen is no longer in your dog’s system, all his symptoms should stop and he should return to his normal self. Chronic infections and skin irritations will heal and not occur again as long as you keep olive oil out of his diet. His immune system will stop over-reacting and return to its normal strength. This will help your dog fight off actual threats instead of false ones.
Olive Oil Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Our 14lb dog seems to have had an allergic reaction to a very small dose of olive oil. His symptoms are hyper activity, itching just being uncomfortable. How long can we expect these symptoms to last?
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