Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis In Your Dog

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. Wipe your dog down with a moist towel before he/she enters the house after being outside.  This will help remove the allergens that he/she might have on their coat. 
  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. 
  4. Learn what triggers your dogs’ symptoms (certain seasons, dust, foods, etc.) so that you can avoid them.
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