Some pet owners might get surprised when their Labradors are diagnosed with allergic dermatitis. Just like in humans, allergies are also common to dogs and it could also be one of the reasons of their discomfort. This is often acquired from airborne allergens and symptoms are reflected on the dog’s skin. Allergic dermatitis is a type of skin problem that follows an exposure from elements that are naturally harmless but happened to trigger the development of antibodies and allergic responses on the skin. The most common sources of these substances are dust mites and pollen. Because it is necessary for Labradors to regularly spend some time outdoors, it is difficult for them not to be exposed to pollens. Also, dust mites are everywhere so it is impossible not to be exposed to these. Proper care has to be given to Labradors especially that their breed is susceptible to allergic dermatitis.
Causes of Allergic Dermatitis in Labradors
Allergic Dermatitis in Labradors could be hereditary. This also makes Labradors susceptible to pollens such as grasses and trees, dust mites and mold spores. Signs of allergic dermatitis appear when the weed pollens in fall and late summer also appear. In the later months, similar signs appear when the tree pollens also appear during late winter and spring on the months of March and April. Grass pollens that appear on the months of May and June also cause the occurrence of allergic dermatitis. After some time, Labradors start to react on dust mites, molds, feathers, and so on. With the dog’s exposure to these substances and allergens, their susceptibility to allergic dermatitis plays year round.
During the first few allergy experiences, the problem only involves seasonal itching and the skin still appears normal. Labradors scratch their ears and the sides of their body. Along with itching is face-rubbing as well as runny nose and watery eyes. There is also licking of paws. The disease level does not go beyond this stage. However, when it progresses, there is a cycle of itch and scratch which leads to lesions.
Symptoms of Allergic Dermatitis in Labradors
The following are the common symptoms of allergic dermatitis:
- Itching and frequent scratching
- Rubbing of body on the carpet because of itching
- Hair loss and flaky skin due to frequent rubbing
- Foul skin odor
- Chewing of paws and other areas
- Lesions or inflamed areas that may lead to infection
Labradors that have allergic dermatitis may suffer more because their skin eventually becomes more sensitive. And the more they become sensitive, the higher the likelihood that they are going to exercise these rubbing and scratching behavior.
It can be difficult to distinguish allergic dermatitis from other forms of allergies. A close look at the history of the dog’s growth and development is usually done. The location of lesion symptoms is recorded as well as the pattern of its occurrence. Other tests include skin scraping, tests for fungal and bacterial infection as well as biopsy. Diet may also be altered by designing a trial hypoallergenic diet. Fleas should also be eliminated to make sure that these factors do not complicate with allergic dermatitis.
If your Labrador is experiencing allergic dermatitis, the most effective way of treating it is to modify its living environment. It may be impossible to remove all existing allergens because they are found everywhere but you can always do a behavior modification method by reducing the threshold of your dog’s scratching behavior as well as other associated skin problems. It is important to maintain your dog’s proper hygiene by wiping a damp towel after every outdoor exposure. This helps remove the pollens your dog might have picked up outside.
Other treatments include antihistamines for scratching control. Other drugs such as corticosteroids are also used to fight the itch but it could bring about some harmful side effects. Overall, use of drugs for treatments is the last option. Providing a clean environment for your dog still serves as the most effective long-term treatment for allergic dermatitis.
Living with Labradors<h/2>
Protect your Labradors from allergic dermatitis by maintaining a clean and fresh living environment for them. You can do so by reducing dust mites and mold spores in your homes. This minimizes the possibility of unwanted allergic reactions to substances. On the other hand, after taking your dog for a walk outdoors, clean the paws and other areas to remove the pollen and prevent it from continued skin contact.