Allergies in Dogs are a common adversity they face often. It is generally genetic but gets triggered by their exposure to whatever they are allergic to. Most of the dogs are allergic to more than one thing; some of the common food allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, egg, lamb, soy, port, rabbit and fish. Of all the allergy cases in dogs, almost ten percent are food allergies. Environmental effects are also counted though.
The symptoms are most likely seen in early puppyhood that makes their immune system weak and hence causing the initial itching process. This may continue for a few weeks and if not diagnosed timely, it may lead to a potential problem later. Antibiotics may perform their job to some extent still cannot recover the predominantly affected immune organs in the body.
A few most commonly allergy affected breeds are German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels and Rex cats further depending on the environment of the country they reside. To diagnose whether the allergy is caused due to food, the best method is to eliminate diet and then offer the dog food that he has never had before. After that, the dog is again diverted on his previous diet to evaluate the reaction of the particular food. This process may take a few days to several weeks.
For lab testing diagnosis, a few other methods can be used. For example, to take a sample of discharge from his ears and see the problem. Other way is to do skin testing for environmental allergies. Blood test is not at all recommended to test the allergy in any case.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the dogs do not catch the food allergy instantly; it is a process of years of eating the same food that makes them sensitive towards it and thus become suddenly allergic to that food. After diagnosing the allergen food through elimination process, the same food should be repeated after every two to three months so as to keep them stable. For younger ones, sometimes food allergies resolve themselves.
It is hence mandatory to take care of your pet’s diet and keep it watching every now and then. Noticing the symptoms at an early stage may definitely help and being cautious about his food may tend to his survival for long. The better way to avoid the problem to an extent is to keep his diet with a variety of foods in it, that too on rotational basis. This will help maintaining his gut health which is the largest immune organ in his body. For puppies avoid using antibiotics and use probiotics for the first six months to one year of age and give them a diet that is fairly high in variety.
The nature has cure for all but it takes time and prevention as well. To manage a balanced diet along with the quality of breeding and regular monitoring is a must for every dog owner. Food allergy can be prevented more than be treated.