Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis in your Dog

by Connie on December 6, 2011

What is Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis? It is the most common type of allergy that affects dogs. This type of allergy affects about ten percent of the canine population worldwide. The main trigger for this type of allergy is the environment. The air carries many different allergens that cause the body to react by releasing histamine, thus causing inflammation. What are the common symptoms of Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis? How can it be treated, and how can you minimize the symptoms?
Common Allergy Symptoms
1. Biting or licking at their feet (after a while the hair in between their toes will become stained with a brown-red color due to excessive licking).
2. Itchy face and body (ears, under armpit, and abdomen).
3. Red and runny eyes.
4. Sneezing or coughing.
5. Listlessness
Treatment and Diagnoses
Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis can manifest through the gastrointestinal system, but is more commonly diagnosed because of the skin-related issues. General diagnosis for Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis in your dog is largely based on symptoms. Typically, the veterinarian will first want to rule out any other conditions that may be confused for allergies. These conditions include; flea allergy, Demodex, Scabies, food allergy, and pyoderma. Once all of these conditions have been ruled out, and the veterinarian is certain it is in fact Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis, then they will prescribe treatment. Like with humans, treatment consists of alleviating the symptoms, as there is no cure for allergies. Benadryl, Chlorpheniramine, and in more severe cases Prednisone is used.
Tips to Help Decrease the Symptoms
Because there are so many things that may be triggering your dogs’ allergies, it may be impossible to know what exactly is causing them. There are several things you can do to help minimize the symptoms.
1. Washing your dog after he/she has been outdoors (at the park, for a walk, or in the back yard) is one way to decrease the amount of allergens on your dogs’ coat.  Your dirty dog can benefit from the K9 Shower with a quick and easy rinse to get rid of potential allergy inducers.  The K9 Shower is specifically designed to be portable (so great for outdoors), and you will not have to deal with the hassle of a messy water hose!  Rinsing your dog before loading into the car or coming into the house will keep allergens out of your house and out of your car.  Car seat covers may keep dirt off your seats, but they can harbor allergens that cause reactions in your dog, as well as in humans with allergies.
2. Avoid using dog beds that are filled with wood chips, try to use cotton based beds and clothing instead. Wood chips can often be irritating and will trigger allergies.
3. Do not use strong and skin drying shampoos.  Use soothing, oatmeal based shampoos to help relieve skin irritation.  Also, it is highly recommended to avoid shampoos containing perfumes and other scents to prevent an allergy flare up.  It is best to stick to natural products that do not contain harmful chemicals.
4. Learn what triggers your dogs’ symptoms (certain seasons, dust, foods, etc.) so that you can avoid them.

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