A Simple Guide To Treating Allergies In Gundogs
Whilst humans who are affected by hay fever, better known as pollen allergy get runny noses, red eyes and sneeze between every other word whilst talking. Dogs meanwhile itch. What can appear to be somewhat minor can quickly develop into both a frustrating and uncomfortable condition.
Allergies in gundogs left untreated can lead to misery and more often than not also leads to changes to their skin that are sometimes irreversible. Allergies in gundogs is usually a result of an inherited susceptibility to develop hypersensitivity-mediated skin disease against environmental allergens. Whilst you do not need to be a vet yourself in order to diagnose it, it’s important to note that it can be easily mistaken for many other conditions.
What do allergies in gundogs look like?
When your gundog has become a victim of pollen allergy, you would normally expect to notice a certain amount of inflammation around the face. This is usually accompanied with persistent itching of the face, ears, belly, armpits and feet. You may also notice a brown staining on the feet which is caused by the transfer of saliva during licking. Hair loss along with an increase in pigmentation and skin thickening are usually also noticeable. Allergies in gundogs can also lead to ear and eye infections also so it’s worth monitoring them for any symptoms.
As the scratching continues, it spreads secondary bacteria and yeasts including malassezia and staphylococcus around the body. These bacteria’s and yeasts cause further flaking and skin issues.
Why do allergies in gundogs occur?
Unfortunately know one fully understands why allergies in gundogs occur in the first place. We do know that seasonal pollen allergy is thought to be associated with dysregulation of cytokine production and aberrant T cells. In simple terms, this meerly refers to the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine and interleukins. Most gundogs that suffer from seasonal pollen allergy also suffer from other allergies such as dust mites and so forth.
Can allergies in gundogs be predicted?
Unfortunately allergies in gundogs cannot be predicted. Certain breeds of gundogs are more susceptible to allergies than others however allergies as a whole cannot be predicted in any such way. Figures suggest that Labradors and golden retrievers along with Westies are among the breeds that are more likely to develop allergies. Allergies in gundogs younger than one year are extremely uncommon and therefore makes it nearly impossible to identify a potential sufferer. Another interesting point is that allergies tend to affect females more so than males.
Treating allergies in gundogs
Firstly it’s important to understand that no article or anything else you hear about or read on the internet should replace veterinary advice. If you believe your gundog is suffering from a pollen allergy or any other pollen allergy, you should seek proper veterinary advice and treatment. Recently, the Guns and Country office dog, Louie began suffering from such an allergy. Alarmingly, Louie’s first symptom was an inflamed muzzle that changed the overall shape and appearance of his face followed by itching and raised lumps across the whole of his body. In this case, it was important that quick medical treatment was available as Louie’s allergic reaction was developing quickly and could have affected his ability to breathe. This takes us onto our next point.
This takes us onto our next point. If you notice any inflammation around the muzzle and/or throat, it’s important to seek immediate treatment. In Louie’s case, once he had received an injection he’s reaction appeared to subside until the following day where another trip to the vets was made. Bloody testing can help reveal the cause of the reaction however this is usually expensive. Most vets will typically offer advice and a prescription for an anti-histamine such as Piriton.
You should try and avoid taking your gundog outdoors at times where there is a risk of high pollen concentrations. Rinsing your gundog off upon returning from an outdoor activity can also help.