Just like people, our dogs can have allergies that can be caused by a myriad of things.
The main symptoms to look out for are:
Itchy, red, moist and/or scabbed skin:
These symptoms are sometimes referred to as “hot spots” and can usually be noticed in summer, when it is particularly hot and humid. Although these “hot spots” can occur anywhere on a dog’s skin, they are mostly seen under the dog’s ears, near the rectum area and the rear end, near the pelvis bone. Dogs are prone to scratch and bite the infected areas, which can cause bleeding, pus and scabs. A tell-tale sign of these “hot spots” in dogs with long hair is usually matted hair, caused by bleeding and/or pus. If your dog has a food, the above symptoms can be yeast related. Luckily, it is quite easy to spot an overgrowth of yeast on the outer ear or as a waxy residue around the ear opening.
Itchy and watery eyes:
If your dog’s eyes are continually and excessively tearing, if he/she is constantly squinting, walks around with partially closed eyes or “rubs” the eyes with his/her paws, it could also point to a serious allergic reaction.
Itchy ears and ear infections:
If these symptoms occur, your dog’s ears are probably also hot, red and swollen and a brown, yellow and/or bloody discharge can be observed in more serious cases. Your dog will most probably be scratching his ears non-stop – this also includes rubbing his ears on everything, including the floor and furniture. Other indications can be smelly ears, redness, swelling, scabs as described above and hair loss at the ears or surrounding areas. Also look out for peculiar behaviour, such as constant tilting or shaking of the head, random eye movements, balance problems, walking in circles and loss of hearing.
Snoring caused by an inflamed throat:
If you notice these symptoms, your dog may also have a fever, experience pain when he/she swallows and loses his/her appetite. Your dog may also cough or gag excessively. You will usually also be able to notice a purulent drainage at the back of your dog’s throat, as well as excessive swelling that may impair your dog’s breathing. He/she may also show signs of depression.
Symptoms of shock can either be a weak, or extremely fast pulse, weakness or collapse, purple, grey or pale gums and shallow breathing or hyperventilation.
Hives or swelling of the muzzle:
These symptoms include a swelling in your dog’s face and/or bumps that occur all over your dog’s body.
Diarrhea and vomiting:
These symptoms are marked by constant loose or liquid poop and vomiting that can be caused by an upset stomach due to a food allergy or stress caused by other allergies.
This includes the most serious symptoms, as they are usually an immediate allergic reaction to something your dog ate or something that has been injected into your dog, eg. medication. If left untreated, this can cause shock, as described above, respiratory distress or failure, cardiac failure, and even death.
So, these are the answers to your question: “does my dog have allergies?”. Consider all the above symptoms and, accordingly, make sure you always pay close attention to your pup to avoid unnecessary suffering for them and heartache for yourself.