Wednesday 15 August 2007

Contact Allergies in Dogs

Contact allergies occur when a dog develops sensitivity and manifests adverse reactions to objects that its skin comes in contact with. It is the least common among the four general types of dog allergies and the easiest to cure as it involves localization of a skin area’s reaction to an allergen. Examples of substances that can cause contact allergies are rubber, wool, certain types of metal like chrome and nickel, antibiotics or lotion applied on the skin, and chemicals like fragrances or fabric deodorants. Some of the irritants are usually common materials that the dog normally had no previous unpleasant reaction to such as beddings, flea collars or carpets. Allergies to chemicals is as rare as 1 in a million, but it is nevertheless advisable to restrict the pets from areas treated with cleaning fluids, carpet detergents and waxes.

The commonly affected areas are the parts of the body which are sparsely haired and are directly exposed to the offensive substance. There will be visible reddness, blistered lesions, or vesicles, with small bumps on the lips, muzzle, abdomen, and/or the back of the paws which gradually turn reddish in color and become very itchy. The dog sometimes scratches the irritated abdomen against the floor developing blisters and aggravating the condition.

Prednisone or corticosteroids is given to lessen the hostile itch and pacify the inflammation. Antihistamines, biotin, topical shampoos and fatty acids can also be utilized to ease the itching. It is quite sensible to monitor the animal’s lifestyle, habits and routine for the proper identification and elimination of the irritant. The simplest solution is the removal of the contact. Needless to say, the symptoms manifested such as inflamed feet and itch, is shared by atopy and food allergies, and it is therefore important to investigate the ailment on these areas as well.