Allergic Contact Dermatitis In Dogs

Dogs often suffer from allergies the same way humans do.

When a dog is exposed to a substance he is allergic to, the result is usually
intense itching.

It is important to get allergic reactions in dogs under control as quickly as
possible, as complications can arise if left untreated.

Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition that can affect dogs of all ages.

Although this disease is not commonly diagnosed, it can cause dogs to be miserable. Allergic contact dermatitis develops when the dog's body overreacts to things in his environment. Some of the most common allergic triggers for dogs are carpet deodorizers, certain types of metals, rubber, dyes and antibiotics applied directly to the skin.

Dogs that develop allergic contact dermatitis exhibit symptoms such as intense itching and hair loss. Red lesions or skin ulcers may also develop from itching. These symptoms usually appear in areas that come into contact with the offending substance such as the paws, stomach, mouth and muzzle. Dogs that have bouts of uncontrolled itching, may eventually develop skin infections that can adversely affect health.

Dogs with symptoms of allergic contact dermatitis may need to be evaluated by a veterinarian if symptoms or frequent or severe. The veterinarian will take a detailed history and perform a physical examination to determine the cause of the allergy. Veterinarians may perform a patch test on the dog's skin to determine which substances are causing allergy symptoms. It can take several months of eliminating things from the dog's environment, to determine the cause of the allergic contact dermatitis.

Once the source of the allergy is confirmed, there are several things pet owners can do to prevent symptoms from returning. Completely removing the allergic substance from the dog's living environment is the best way to avoid skin flare-ups. If that is not possible, antihistamines may be administered to control itching. Certain types of shampoos may also help ease the symptoms associated with allergic contact dermatitis. Keeping dogs with this condition on the sidewalk or driveway may help reduce grass allergies. Pet bedding should be washed frequently with hypoallergenic laundry detergent, as well.