How to know if my dog has an allergy to the feed
Many of the ailments that humans suffer can also be experienced by dogs, including allergy. Dogs can be allergic to elements found in the environment, such as pollen or dust, presenting discomfort especially in spring or autumn, can have reactions to specific compounds such as flea saliva or, in many cases, have allergies foods linked to the feed they consume or to a specific food.
And, also in the same way that happens with humans, determining that a dog suffers food allergy is not so easy, because you have to rule out various conditions previously and take into account some aspects to be able to firmly declare that this is the pathology. To clarify this situation, in .com we explain how to know if your dog has an allergy to the feed by evaluating its symptoms and the main signs of this condition.
Symptoms that the dog is allergic to the feed
The food allergy in dogs appears suddenly, appearing normally between the year and three years, however the animal can begin to manifest the symptoms of allergy to the feed later, at an advanced age. This happens basically because the body of the animal can be sensitive to a specific food or compound, but it is as it is exposed very often to that particular detonator that develops a hypersensitivity to it, finally the animal's immune system will eventually identify that substance as a foreign agent, giving rise to all the symptoms of an allergy.
Although you do not believe it, your dog can become allergic to a feed that has been eating for years just because it contains one or several ingredients that produce the symptoms. This situation can be quite sudden, in the same way that happens in humans, who can become allergic to a food that they have always eaten without problems.
The first step to know if your dog is allergic to the feed is to determine the symptoms that the animal presents. Some of the common signs that denote a food allergy are:
- Itching prolonged and without any relation to the station. In spring or autumn many dogs can suffer discomfort in their skin due to allergens such as pollen or dust, which also affect them. But in the case of food allergies the pruritus occurs at any time of the year and without apparent cause, there are no fleas, or any other parasite or condition that may explain why the animal scratches so much. Itching can occur in localized areas or throughout the body.
- Frequent or continuous diarrhea.
- Vomiting, may be occasional or frequent.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Bloating or tearing more abundant than usual.
- Coughing and sneezing may occur.
- In some cases the animal also manifests infections such as ear infections, due to the weakening of the immune system.
Food compounds that can cause allergies in the dog
Some of the ingredients contained in the feed that produces the most allergy in dogs are:
- The wheat
- The corn
- The soy
- The eggs
- The pulp of the beet
- Meats like veal, chicken or horse meat
- Milk or dairy products
Identifying which ingredients the dog is allergic to is basic, because even the hypoallergenic feed may contain traces of a product that causes allergy in the animal, and therefore the change will not produce the expected effect or improvement.
Diagnosis and treatment of food allergies in dogs
Once we suspect that the dog has an allergy, the next step is to go to the vet . Vomiting and diarrhea, along with constant itching, can show that it is a food allergen, however it is the veterinarian who must diagnose the problem.
Blood and skin tests are used to identify allergens, either food or environmental, but in many cases do not give clear results, so one of the most common procedures that veterinarians use when they suspect this condition It is the elimination diet.
What is the elimination diet?
The veterinarian chooses a specific diet that the dog must follow for at least 8 to 12 weeks. The diet must be followed to the letter and never be broken, therefore the animal should not receive a single croquette, prize, commercial food or anything that is not included in the diet that has been prepared for it. otherwise the results could be altered. If indeed the problem is the feed, with the elimination diet the symptoms should disappear and, when the animal returns to the feed that was consumed before, they will appear again after a few days and even hours, a sign that the problem is in the food.
From there the veterinarian will provide the indicated feed for the dog and will inform which products should disappear from the animal's diet. Omega 3 supplements may be useful in the treatment of this condition, since they reduce the inflammation and itching produced by allergy, therefore it is advisable to consult the veterinarian about it.