Pet Health
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Dog Skin Allergies And Hot Spots

by Sam Kelley

Allergies, more specifically dog skin allergy reactions, tend to drive owners to the brink of
their tolerance levels and beyond. There are many different types of allergens that dogs
can have reactions to, many which are not problematic for people at all. The most
common sign of dog skin allergy reactions include hot spots, which are actually moist,
open lesions on the skin caused by excessive licking, biting and scratching and the
subsequent bacterial infections that occur.

Other signs of allergies include:

•        Chewing and licking of the feet, particularly between the pads
•        Rubbing of the head against the carpet, ground and furniture
•        Ear infections that keep reoccurring
•        Hair loss in patches often around the neck, legs and tail
•        Open sores and lesions (hot spots) that are inflamed and feverish to the touch
•        Vomiting, diarrhea or both, especially with severe food allergies

Most Common Types of Dog Skin Allergy Causes

By far the most common type of dog skin allergy reactions including all the signs
indicated above including hot spots is a flea bite. The allergens contained in flea saliva
are some of the most potent and problematic, so keeping fleas out of the dog's coat and
environment on a continual and year round basis is essential. Other common causes of
dog skin allergies include:

•        Perfumes and human soaps, shampoos and conditioners used on the dog
•        Air fresheners, carpet deodorizers and other scented products around the house
•        Detergents, fabric softens, carpet and floor cleaning solutions
•        Foods – either the actual foods or additives or preservatives in the food
•        Plants, grasses, weeds and airborne allergens such as molds and mildew spores
•        Dust mites and dust in general
•        Specific types of fabrics such as wool, polyester, nylon or rayon
•        Milk products
•        Rubber and latex toys or items

Treatment for Dog Skin Problems

Dog skin allergy reactions are typically determined or confirmed by an allergy test or
elimination diet that will be prescribed by your vet. After determining what is causing the
allergies, remove or minimize the dog's exposure to that particular allergen. In severe
cases steroids can be used to provide immediate relieve and antihistamines can be
prescribed to manage the condition. Topic creams and soothing anti-itch bathes can also
help with immediate relief from the itching and irritation.

When hot spots have developed it is important to keep the area dry and clean and allow
healing to occur. You may need to clip the hair in the area to allow the air to circulation,
clean with a solution that will clean the tissue but not cause irritation, Nolvasan is often
recommended by vets. Drying powders may need to be used if the hot spot is large or
appears to be spreading. They can quickly spread, so need to be treated immediately.

Dog skin allergy issues that include hot spots and chronic scratching, licking and chewing
need to be treated both short term and long term. Determining the source of the
allergies is essential to prevent reoccurrence of the condition.

Information provided by Sam Kelley of
Oh My Dog Supplies, where you can find a
fantastic selection of
ceramic dog bowls online.