Respiratory allergies are no fun for anyone, whether a person or a cocker spaniel. Just like us, our fluffy four-legged pals actually have their own fair share of unpleasant and uncomfortable allergens to deal with -- from pollen, to perfume, to environmental pollutants. Find out some common canine allergens and their symptoms so you can pinpoint and treat the cause of your dog's discomfort.
Typical Allergens for Dogs
A lot of potential allergens cause dogs to experience respiratory issues. These things include pollen, dander, secondhand cigarette smoke, feathers from birds, mold, dust, beauty products, plastic and cleansing agents. If you observe any hints of respiratory distress in your pet, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible in order to determine whether he indeed has allergies. Symptoms of respiratory allergies sometimes are similar to those of other medical conditions in canines -- think tracheal collapse, which involves excessive coughing. If allergies are your pet's issue, a vet can determine appropriate methods for symptom management.
Respiratory Allergy Symptoms in Dogs
If your precious pooch seems a little under the weather, pesky respiratory allergies could be the culprit. Some common indications of respiratory allergies in canines are constant sneezing, runny nose, panting, coughing, itchiness of the eyes, wheezing and discharge from the eyes. While sleeping, dogs with respiratory allergies also frequently snore -- a result of inflammation from inside of their throats.
Allergy Symptoms of the Skin
Many dogs do endure the frustration of respiratory allergies, although symptoms affecting the skin are a lot more common to them. If your dog is frantically and frenetically scratching his body, there's a good chance he's dealing with allergies. Other allergy symptoms that affect the skin are redness of the skin, scabs, missing patches of fur, nibbling on and swelling of the paws, and obsessive licking. As with respiratory symptoms, skin symptoms also call for veterinary assistance. Allergy symptoms that affect the skin sometimes overlap with signs of parasites, so be sure to note the difference.
Breed Susceptibilities to Allergies
Allergies are a possibility for all canines, regardless of breed. They also are a possibility for dogs of all age groups, from young to old. However, some breeds of dogs are especially prone to allergies, such as retrievers, terriers, bulldogs, pugs and setters.
Canine-Caused Allergies in People
Dogs, like all other animals with fur, can trigger allergic reactions in people. The old skin flakes they shed -- dander -- are common allergens for some people. In sensitive individuals, exposure to dander can bring upon a variety of symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, wheezing, stuffy nose, itchiness and watery eyes. Apart from dander, proteins in canine saliva can also be allergenic. Even dog urine can lead to allergic reactions.
By Naomi Millburn
Michigan Humane Society: Can Pets Have Seasonal Allergies?
DogChannel.com: Dog Allergies and How to Help
Merck Veterinary Manual: Overview of Respiratory Diseases of Small Animals
ACAAI: Pet Allergies Information
MayoClinic.com: Pet Allergy
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Pet Allergies
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.