One in Five Dogs Affected by Summertime Allergies

Skin irritations and licking or scratching are signs of summertime allergies in dogs.

Posted: June 23, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

Summertime allergies affect one out of every five dogs nationwide, according to the ASPCA. Symptoms, although not life-threatening, often involve skin irritations and hair loss due to excessive licking and scratching, and frequent skin and ear infections.

Skin disorders caused by allergies are the most common reasons for visits to the vet, says Jeanne Budgin, veterinary dermatologist at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. She adds that determining the source of the allergy is important in treating it appropriately.

Some common causes of allergic reactions in dogs include:

  • Flea allergies, the most common form of allergy, can cause itching for up to three weeks.
  • Food allergies can cause skin irritations, vomiting, and diarrhea, and may occur in combination with other types of summertime allergies.
  • Molds, pollens, and dust can cause atopy, an airborne allergy which results in itchy rashes.
  • Tree pollen, especially oak, and grass can cause allergy symptoms and are the major pollen allergens currently present in the environment.

Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog may have allergies.


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Lisa   seattle, WA

8/22/2011 1:33:02 PM

my dog has been tested for allergies and is allergic to grass pollens. Her symptons are ictching which makes sense, but the reason I took her to the vet was for these scabs that have shown up on her belly, usually around the nipple area. Its like something is oozing out or her skin and then it creates a yellow and sometimes black scab. Would that be a sympton of allergies?

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Betty   Kelso, WA

6/24/2007 7:59:35 AM

For the past 5 years our mini doxie would have severe symptoms of allergies in early spring and would last until late fall. We assumed it was contact allergies with grasses because her chest was so itchy. She was continually scooting across the carpet on her belly in order to scratch her chest. Then she began to rub her face on the carpet and would lick her paws. Her ears and underarms have become involved also. We had her tested and she is very allergic to fleas and to many grasses and tree pollens. We started her on desensitization injections and almost a year later they haven't been as effective as we had hoped. It's possible we'll have to discontinue the injections and keep her on cortisone meds every summer for life in order to keep her, and us, comfortable, but we're still hoping the shots will do their work.

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megan   frazeysburg, OH

6/23/2007 1:58:30 PM

thanks for this informative article!

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