Is your dog protected against ticks and fleas, yet still scratches, and scratches and scratches? Does your itchy dog get ear infections and lick their paws? Do certain meals make them unwell? If so, they might be suffering from allergies. Ron Merriman and Steph McCarthy run the Boorowa Vet Clinic and report that it is very common for dogs to have allergies, although working dogs seem to be more robust in this regard.
Common contact allergies in our region include grasses such as Couch and Kikuyu grasses, as well as plants as diverse as Canola and Sage, and trees such as Acacia, Olive, Willow and Elm. It can be near impossible to protect your dog from grass pollens, but help is at hand. Your vet can prescribe a range of treatments to reduce the irritation and make your pet more comfortable over the entire allergy season. This can be tailored to your pets needs and to your convenience, whether it be a daily tablet or an injection designed to treat itchy pets for a period of weeks to months.
Unlike grass allergies, food allergies are seen year-round. Common food allergies can include chicken, rice or oatmeal. Like people, these allergies vary from pet to pet. If you suspect your dog has a food allergy you can change their food, or try an elimination diet to help identify what’s causing the issue. A raw food diet is a great place to start as it avoids preservatives and it is easy to see what food your pet reacts to. A hypoallergic diet is also a great option for food-sensitive dogs.
If you find that no matter what you do, your dog is still suffering, then it’s a good idea to talk to your vet about an allergy test for your dog. This involves your vet taking a sample of blood from your dog and sending it away to a laboratory. A comprehensive report is then sent to you with exactly what food and grasses your pet is positively reacting too. This is exactly what happened recently to a patient of Ron’s who was found to have both contact and food allergies. Thanks to diet adjustments in particular, his guardians report that the dog was happy and itch free in a surprisingly quick timeframe.
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