What are Rawhide Allergies?
Rawhides for dogs are not only a tasty treat but idouble as a type of mental stimulation as well. While your dog may love to devour rawhides, it might not be the best thing for him. It is possible he may have an allergy to them. Rawhides are made from cows or horses but typically also have beef, chicken, or pork added to them. If your dog is allergic to any of these ingredients, he will be allergic to the rawhide. Your dog may develop typical allergy symptoms if he is allergic to it. Treatment and recovery are very easy though, so do not panic. Stop giving him the rawhide, no matter how much he loves it, and all allergy symptoms should cease.
Many dogs enjoy chewing on rawhides for hours at a time. However, some dogs can be allergic to rawhides and should not consume them. If you believe your dog may be allergic to rawhide, discuss it with your veterinarian.
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Symptoms of Rawhide Allergies in Dogs
Allergy symptoms may manifest different ways in different dogs. Allergy symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Runny eyes
- Itchy skin
- Dry, flaky skin
- Poor skin conditions
- Poor hair coat
- Hair loss
- Chronic ear infections
- Obsessive licking/chewing of feet
- Inflamed, red paw pads
- Gastrointestinal upset
Rawhide treats are created from the inner layer of horse or cow hides. To make them more palatable for dogs, manufacturers often add in flavorings consisting of beef, chicken, liver, and pork. Beef and chicken are the top food related cause of allergies in dogs. If your dog is allergic to rawhides, it can be the product as a whole, or a flavor the manufacturer added in.
Causes of Rawhide 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 it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. Your dog’s body produces an immune response to the allergen ingredient. 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.
Diagnosis of Rawhide Allergies in Dogs
When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, the veterinarian will start with a physical examination including ears, eyes, nose and mouth. This will allow her to take note of all your dog’s symptoms and vital statistics. If your dog’s skin is irritated as a result of consistent rawhide ingestion, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping to verfiy the presence external parasites or bacterial overgrowth. If your dog has watery eyes, the veterinarian may perform fluorescein staining to check for a scratch on the eye that could possibly cause the watering.
Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian an idea of how the organs are functioning and to rule out other possible causes. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment of the allergy. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.
Bicom testing , serum allergy investigation and intradermal testing are all diagnostic tools used when evaluating a dog with an allergies. In some cases, if the symptoms are severe, testing will be done if removal of the allergen does not give definitive results.
Removal of the item from your pet’s treat repertoire is best. If you notice your dog developed allergy symptoms after giving him a rawhide, do not give him any more for at least 30 days to see if this symptoms stop. Allergy symptoms may develop after eating only one rawhide or they may develop after eating them for months.
Treatment of Rawhide Allergies in Dogs
Treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms. Most cases of allergies, unless they have lead to severe complications, can be resolved easily once the source of the allergy is known. Medication, topical ointments, and a prescribed shampoo should relieve your pet of dermal irritations. Your veterinarian will decide on the best course to follow; adherence on your part will be important.
Removal of Allergen
Removing the allergen completely will also help avoid chronic infections. If the allergen remains in your dog’s diet, it will continue to weaken his immune system over time. This leads to long term and recurring issues.
Monitoring of Food Intake
Once the rawhide allergy is confirmed, the veterinarian may need to investigate which ingredient in the treat was the culprit; she may recommend monitoring and verifying all purchases of food, supplements, and treats from now on in order to ensure that the items do not contain the same ingredients or additives that the rawhide did.
Recovery of Rawhide Allergies in Dogs
While rawhides may be your dog’s absolute favorite treat in the world, if he is allergic to it, stop giving it to him. By removing the allergy causing item from your dog’s diet, he will no longer suffer the allergy symptoms. His immune system will stop fighting a problem that isn’t actually there, and therefore will return to its full strength and be able to protect him from actual threats instead of false ones. There are alternate treats and mental stimulation options other than rawhides, and even with the change your dog will be just as happy and much healthier.
Rawhide Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Hi There my dog has come out in bumps on his head and itchy feet etc.
He has raw hide chew bones but we have never had a problem before with him after eating these. he is a 18 month labrador. Ive took him to vets for a check up and he said it was hives and gave him a steriod injection. this did settle down after a few hours but came back again. and during this time he had ate another raw hide bone. any ideas of what to do. Thanks for your time Paul Cope
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