Everybody knows someone who has a peculiar and unusual allergy, whether they’re allergic to peanut butter, cats, dust, or even rain (yes that really does exist)! Just like humans, dogs can also be allergic to a huge variety of things. While most allergies are mild, thousands of dogs die every year from unknown allergies, so being aware of all things allergy-related could one day save your dog’s life! This article will touch upon a number of common dog allergies that can be picked up in normal day-to-day life, plus offer general guidance on how to go about getting your dog tested.
There are a million and one things your dog could be allergic to. Some of them are easy to avoid, while others can make life extremely challenging. Two common allergens are mold spores and dust. These present owners a serious problem because they are so small, that just seeing them is difficult.
Less common allergens that your dog may also be exposed to regularly are cigarette smoke, trees, and weed pollens. Some dogs only need a tiny amount of exposure to these allergens to come up in serious symptoms.
Is your dog constantly itching? Do they have a raised, itchy rash? Do their lips, tongue or eyes appear swollen? All of these could be symptoms of an allergy and advice from your local vet should be sought promptly.
If you are concerned about allergies, there are two types of tests you will likely encounter. The first is a relatively straightforward blood test, the benefits of which have been highlighted by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The test is used to detect antigen-induced antibodies in your dog’s blood. This quick procedure is the most common allergy test and yields pretty accurate results.
Your vet will be able to do the test for you and the time it takes for results to come back varies dependant on the particular veterinary hospital and the individual case. But you can usually expect results back promptly. The test is safe, relatively cheap, and minimally intrusive, so if you are worried about allergies, a blood test could be the right route to go down.
The second type of allergy testing is extremely effective, but poses a greater risk to your dog. Your dog is sedated, an area of the skin is shaved and then a small amount of antigen is injected into the skin. The skin is then monitored for any signs of a reaction. This test is effective in as much of 75% of cases.
While not being as straightforward as a blood test, it is not usually any more expensive and its benefits are echoed by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Both allergy tests are relatively safe, can be administered by your local vet and could massively help your dog avoid a potentially lethal allergen.