Allergies in Dogs and How to Treat Them

Dogs suffer from allergic reactions due to low immunity, just as people do. Although allergies are fairly harmless under normal circumstances, dogs tend to have more extreme reactions compared to other animals. Regardless of the breed or age of your dog, dog allergies can cause a wide variety of symptoms including digestive, respiratory, and skin reactions.

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Symptoms of Dog Allergies

If you suspect your pet may have allergies, you’ll want to watch for the following symptoms of dog allergies:

  • Scabbed skin or moist, itchy, and red skin
  • Unusual vomiting
  • Unusual sneezing
  • Ear infections or itchy ears
  • Constant licking
  • Paw chewing

Be aware that a dog with allergies may also develop a secondary skin infection (either yeast or bacterial), which may result in hair loss, crusty skin, scabs, and other irritations.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

There are some common substances (allergens) that can trigger dog allergies. These include:

  • Food allergens
  • Mold, dust and dander
  • Fleas and mites
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning agents
  • Pollens like weeds, trees, and grass
  • Tick and flea preventive treatments

 

Types of Allergies

Flea Allergies: Flea allergies occur when your pet reacts to the saliva of flea deposited through fleabites. A flea allergy is one of the most common allergies in dogs. Itching with extreme discomfort is one of the first signs, and which can be aggravated with warm weather. In severe cases, your dog may even develop an unpleasant odor or experience hair loss. Flea allergies require your prompt attention to physically remove the fleas from your dog’s environment, as well as to apply the appropriate flea control product suggested by your vet.

Environmental Allergies: Seasonal and environmental allergens like molds, grass, pollens, dust mites, ragweed, etc., provoke allergies in dogs just as they do in many humans. Look for signs such as any type of oozing or odor coming from your dog’s ears, itchiness of his skin, and paw-chewing behavior. Serum testing and intradermal skin testing are some effective ways to diagnose allergies triggered by environmental and seasonal factors.

Food Allergies: Providing proper nutrition to your dog is essential for good skin condition. Many dogs can develop allergies to their food over time. Over 10% of dog allergies are determined to be food allergy cases, and they are marked by food intolerances. Common symptoms that indicate food allergies include gastrointestinal issues, ear inflammation, chronic gas, and diarrhea.

Allergies in Dogs

How to Treat Your Dog’s Allergies

After you identify the type of allergy your dog has, you will want to remove the cause from its environment, as well as seek immediate medical attention for your pet.

Targets and Triggers: For flea allergies, your veterinarian might suggest one or more drugs—possibly both oral and topical, based on the stage of the dog’s allergy. The most effective way to control fleas and to prevent them from recurring is to change or thoroughly clean your dog’s bed and environment. Keep the entire area free of dust and smoke, in addition to using air filters, wherever possible.

Bring on the Baths: Some dog owners avoid frequent shampooing of their pets because they fear it may damage their pets’ skin. However, vets these days recommend weekly shampooing, and at times, even daily bathing for severe skin allergies.

Try Stronger Treatments

Even when you’ve taken steps for flea control and increased your dog’s bathing frequency to fight allergies, you may still have to consider stronger treatments if your dog’s itching persists. Veterinarians offer diverse remedies to handle more complex allergies. Some of these include minor doses of injections, antibiotics, immunology, and testing.

For allergy-induced behaviors like paw chewing and repeated scratching, preventive medications such as prescription drugs or steroid shots may be recommended. Some vets may even let you administer the shots at home to avoid upsetting your daily schedule.

Beware of the Food Dish

Since pets often suffer from food allergies, take care to feed your pet in clean bowls. Frequently food allergies are caused by protein-rich food like beef, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, and even soy. For these reasons, it’s wise to follow the guidance of your veterinarian and eliminate foods one by one to identify the precise allergen that troubles your pet. In some cases, protein substitutes may be suggested by the vet to compensate for a lack of protein intake.

There’s Hope for Dogs with Allergies

With tremendous advancement in the medical field and technology, there is a solution or cure for almost all types of allergies in dogs these days. You just need to be alert to spot the symptoms or notice your pet’s distress or discomfort and seek medical attention to help your dog enjoy a healthy and happy life.

By: Craig DavisCraig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he shares additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics markets and produces their flagship product, EcoEars, along with a growing array of premium products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.

Fish Oil for Dogs: Reasons for Using, Effects, and Benefits

If you have a dog, taking care of his health is one of the most important tasks you do. After all, you love your canine companion and undoubtedly want the sound health for him that you want for all your loved ones. If your dog has a shiny coat of fur and looks perfectly active and energetic, he is undoubtedly healthy. However, if your pet is lethargic and shuns activities, you need to investigate whether he may be suffering from some health issues. Even if there’s no visible problem at the moment, your dog may develop severe health problems in the future if a condition is ignored. Make sure to consult your vet at first signs of malaise, and take your pet for a thorough checkup at frequent intervals.

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Using Fish Oil for Better Health

If you’re unsure of the best way to keep your dog healthy, you might consider focusing on his diet. Dogs can develop health problems due to lack of proper vitamins or nutrients in their diet.  You will want to be watchful regarding your dog’s nutritional consumption. Make sure he’s not getting too much of any particular vitamin, since this can have damaging side effects.  It’s for this reason that you should be careful while supplementing his food with fish oils for dogs, since some supplements can contain too much of the benefit ingredients they contain for his needs. On the other hand, a deficit of a certain vitamin can predispose your dog to develop certain diseases, which makes it crucial for you to make the right choices for your pet’s diet.

Skin Conditions Your Dog May Develop

If your dog isn’t getting the proper amount of vitamin or nutrients through a balanced diet, he may suffer from a variety of health problems. For instance, if he’s not getting the right amount of vitamin E, he might suffer from skin issues such as rashes or a poor coat. Conversely, if a dog has too much vitamin E, he or she can be predisposed to cataracts, weight loss, severe pain, or muscle weakness.

Keep your Dog’s Weight in Mind

Remember that there is no standard dosage for dogs of all breeds or age. The proper dosage of vitamins may vary to a great extent according to the body weight of a dog. For instance, small dogs like Yorkshire Terriers or Shih Tzus are required a smaller dose,  while larger dogs like Greyhounds or Golden Retrievers need larger quantities of the same vitamin.

Mix the Right Vitamins with Each Other

While combining the vitamins in a single feeding , you should be aware of which vitamins goes well with others. If you put two vitamins together in a single meal, the interaction may lead to side effects and your dog may even experience abdominal pain. So, if you are supplementing with more than one individual supplement, it’s essential to know about different vitamins and their probable reactions when combined with other supplements.

Selecting and Finding the Right Supplements

Today, dog supplements are plentiful on the market — you can find quality supplements at any reputable pet care and many health food stores, as well as order them online.  The ability to research multiple providers and compare reviews and prices on line allows smart consumers to get the highest quality at the best price, as well as make educated decisions about how to use supplements.

Choose the Right Supplement for Your Dog                                                       

When choosing a supplement for your dog, you do need to exercise caution. If your dog’s reluctant to ingest a vitamin or supplement, consider mixing it with a tasty meals or snack. All you need to do is to mix the supplement well with the food, so that your dog will easily consume it without rejecting it. Dog owners often disguise a pill or capsule in a slice of cheese or scoop of peanut butter, and some capsules allow opening the gel case for sprinkling into moist foods.

Opt for Further Treatment

If you plan to give your dog fish oil supplements on a regular basis, it’s wise to check with your vet before going ahead with it. Keep track of whether the fish oil vitamins are having positive effects on your dog’s health or not. This will also help your vet determine the optimal diet and future course of action for your dog. Depending on the effects of the vitamins, the dosage or the brand of the vitamin may need to be changed. Since allergies in dogs are quite common, you should also take note if your dog is seems allergic to a particular brand of vitamin or supplement.

What are the Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs?

There are several health conditions that can be treated with the help of fish oil. For instance, if your dog has been suffering from any kind of inflammatory disorder such as ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, omega-3 essential fatty acids may help cure the condition. If your dog suffers from arthritis, then EPA (one of the main constituents of fish oil) can help reduce damage to affected tissues. So, go ahead, consult your vet and let your canine friend benefit from fish oils.

By: Craig Davis

Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he shares additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics markets and produces their flagship product, EcoEars, along with a growing array of premium products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.

Natural Ear Infection Remedies for Dogs

If you have a dog as a pet, perhaps you are familiar with the fact that dogs often suffer from ear infections. Since it may not be always possible for you to take him to the vet, knowing how to manage the situation on your own would help. If you are not sure about the most effective dog ear infection remedy, here is a list that can come handy. However, before using these remedies, you should a bit about the causes and symptoms of dogs’ ear infections.

Most of the times, an infection is caused by yeast, bacteria, and mites. These usually affect the external or middle ear, leading to otitis externa or otitis media. However, if you are not sure exactly what is wrong with your dog’s ear, it’s advisable to consult a professional vet before using any of the remedies.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection

In order to understand whether it’s truly an ear infection that’s bothering your dog, you need to know the most common symptoms of the disease. These include:

  • Redness and itching in the ear
  • Constant scratching of the ear, along with the irritation in the internal ear
  • Inflammation and painful swelling
  • Rubbing the ear against a carpet or the ground

Your dog is likely not to want to allow you or anyone to touch the affected area. At times, the infected area might emit a yellow substance or a bad smell.

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Ear Infection Remedies for Dogs

Here are some effective ear infection remedies that you can use to cure your canine companion’s complaints:

  • Use a cleaning solution – This is one of the easiest methods to follow when it comes to curing dog ear infection at home. Simply take a soft tissue or a cotton ball and dip it into an especially formulated dog ear cleaning solution. There are many effective OTC (over the counter) solutions available on the market, but you can make your own homemade cleaning solution as well.
  • Clean your dog’s ear with vinegar – If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a yeast infection, you can consider using a mixture of water and vinegar. If you notice brown or red wax accumulated in his ear, these are indications that it’s likely due to yeast infection.
  • Apply olive oil to cure the wound – If your dog is suffering from an open wound, you should not use vinegar since the acid can cause considerable pain to broken skin. As an alternative, you can use tea tree oil (diluted), olive oil, cod liver oil, mineral oil, or almond oil. Any of these oils will help loosen the wax and relieve the itching.
  • Apply a warm compress – This is one of the most beneficial remedies since this helps ease the irritation and inflammation while reducing the pain. By applying a warm compress (essentially a small towel soaked in hot water and squeezed mostly dry), you can also help reduce the redness of the ear of your dog. Compresses should be applied frequently throughout the day.
  • Try a specific yeast infection remedy – If you’re sure that your dog is been suffering from yeast infection, consider trying a specific remedy. Get a tub of natural and organic yogurt with probiotics. You want to be sure that the yogurt is plain, unflavored (no added sugar) and contains active strains of probiotic bacteria. Apply a little amount to the ear of your dog and rub it well.

Remember – it’s important to understand the problem well and then apply a suitable dog ear infection treatment to help your canine friend get relief from the pain and discomfort.

 

By: Craig Davis

Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he shares additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics markets and produces their flagship product, EcoEars, along with a growing array of premium products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.

10 Myths about Pets Dispelled

There is no doubt that your pet is extremely precious to you, and you don’t want to compromise on its health. There are common notions people cling to today about cats and dogs that have been around for centuries, but you need to kick these misconceptions the curb to make informed choices about your pet’s health.

10 Pet Myths

Here are ten myths debunked, along with the facts, so you can keep your pet happy and healthy:

  1. A dry or warm nose means a dog is sick – Many dog owners believe that a wet and cold nose is the sign of a healthy dog. On the contrary, your dog’s nose may remain warm right after he has woken up and this is quite normal.
  2. A dog is happy when it wags its tails – Although this may be true to a certain extent, sometimes it can mean that the dog is in an aggressive mode. A wagging tail also can indicate excitement or stress.
  3. Cats never get injured due to falling – Although it’s true that cats are agile and can often manage to land on their feet while falling, they can get severely injured while falling from heights.
  4. Cats are able to live on a vegan diet – This is one of the most dangerous misperceptions that many people believe. You must remember that cats are carnivores and meat is essential for their proper muscle growth and metabolism.
  5. Using food for training leads to an overweight dog – It completely depends on you since the trick is not to overfeed your dog. Consider taking food from your pet’s daily diet for rewarding an animal during its training sessions.
  6. Your dog doesn’t need heartworm prevention if it mostly stays indoors – Even if your dog is mostly indoors, it is still at risk of heartworm disease, since heartworm is mostly spread by mosquitoes.
  7. Licking leads to healing – Although it’s the natural habit of dogs to lick their wounds, this doesn’t always lead to healing. For instance, if your dog has a hotspot and he keeps on licking it, this may even worsen the condition. A dog may have a wound in his ear, and if he keeps licking his paw and then scratching at his ear, you should opt for proper dog ear treatment after consulting an experienced vet.
  8. It’s impossible to teach an old dog new tricks – Although it may not be that easy to teach an old dog new tricks, it’s not completely impossible. Though it may be a little difficult to get your older pet’s attention, you can succeed by not choosing an activity that requires too much physical exertion and breaking training up into smaller segments.
  9. Cats can’t be trained – It’s a common belief that unlike dogs, cats can’t be trained properly. However, this is not true. You can teach your cat many tricks like turning the pages of a book or playing with a ball.
  10. Dog mouths are cleaner than those of human – This misconception came into existence since dogs keep on licking their wounds and this supposedly helps heal the wounds. Quite contrary to the belief, dogs’ mouths contain profuse germs and sometimes dental tartar is formed due to bacteria. Therefore, it’s unadvisable to share dishes with your dog or let him lick your wounds.
By: Craig Davis

Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he shares additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics markets and produces their flagship product, EcoEars, along with a growing array of premium products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.

Tackling the problem – Pet Diabetes

Every once in a while, people get the opportunity to show how humane they are. Though I must stress that being “nice when it is easy” doesn’t count. You need to show that you don’t forget those who cannot survive without your help, and to do so without any fuss. Specifically, we are speaking about Diabetes which can struck even your pets. If it happens, remember that you mustn’t leave your pet, for you are his lifesaver. Anyway, this is nothing so hard that it cannot be done. Simply read on to see what is required from you, if your pet is in this condition.

What is it?

Basically, there are three types of Diabetes. Types 1 and 2, and gestational one. It is one of the most common opinions that dogs usually get Type 1 Diabetes, and although this is close to truth, it is not that simple. Human blood differs from those of cats and dogs, and thus the Diabetes manifests differently. In it’s core, inability to absorb sugar from the blood, causes rapid weakening of the whole organism, which can lead even to fatal outcome. Insulin is the hormone in blood which regulates the height of the sugar, and any imbalance can have severe health firebacks. For dogs, studies have found that female dogs and those neutered male ones are more susceptible to Diabetes especially in middle and older age, while for the cats, situation is reversed, males are those who will most likely suffer this condition. In either way, if you notice that your pet loses weight, or is overweight or even obese, is taking a lot more water and urinates more often and in increased volume, you mustn’t postpone your visit to the vet. In general, it is not important how famous your vet is, but how much experience he or she has when it comes to this illness. X-rays and/or ultrasonography may be required in order to set proper diagnosis.

Now what?

Now, after the first shock, be sure that you need to take up the responsibility. In general, you will be required to give prescribed medications to your pet, measure it’s blood sugar level, and to take a close look and monitor it’s condition. Those pets which are overweight, will be probably be put on a diet, for extra fat in organism can cause blockade of the sugar consumption. Ask your vet how to make emergency section for your pet, and what should it contain. Some veterinarians might prescribe insulin used on humans, or Vetsulin, which is more suitable for animals. Also, he will probably prescribe proper diet, although there isn’t quite strict table on what your pet should take and what not. Basically, higher amount of fibre intake will be required, along with low fat diet. This will accelerate the metabolism, and will prevent sugar to stay for long to become problem. In the very beginning, both you and your pets might feel scared or even a bit aggressive, so be prepared for eventual bites and scratches. In time, you will get use to it, and once pet realises that you are helping, he will take it more calmly. Here I must stress the fact that you mustn’t abandon your pet, for that would be very cruel, and shows that you treat your pets like items.

Prevention

Well, it is uncertain how much you can affect prevention of this disease, but it is known that cross-breed dogs are more susceptible to it, so if it is possible, avoid this to happen. Also, as I said, avoid that your pet becomes overweight, and that can be prevented by good, healthy nutrition. Better to be safe than sorry.

So, this pretty much covers the basics of dealing with Diabetes which your pets can suffer. Remember not to lose hope, that your pet may be ill, but you can do a lot to help. It is but natural to be sorry, angry, frustrated and nervous, but get rid of those feelings asap. Many people witnessed that this situation made them strengthen their bond with the pet, for as they say, “the strongest steel is forged in the biggest fire.” Ask your friends and relatives to be supportive, and those who ask themselves how can you lose your time with the sick animal, aren’t worth my time writing about them. Ignore these people.

By: Diana Smith
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a proud owner of her German Sheppard Billy and moody apricot poodle Sam. She is interested in alternative medicine for animals and dog’s health issues. Useful information for this article has been kindly provided by Stefmar.