All dogs are vulnerable to allergies and your Labrador Retriever is no exception. Dogs and humans are allergic to mostly the same types of trigger, such as smoke, dust, molds, some odors, some fabrics, food, and other things. Your awareness about dog allergy triggers and symptoms are key to ensure the safety of your dog and prevent allergic reactions and associated complications. Here is a detailed guide about signs to detect if Labrador has an allergy, how to treat it preventing any harm to your pet, and stop its reoccurrence.
Signs your Labrador has an Allergy
The signs of allergy in your dog depend on the severity of his exposure to triggers. However, often symptoms are not prominent even if your Labrador has an allergy. The allergic reaction may also mimic other health conditions, such as a common cold, skin disorder, or hypothyroidism. Again an allergic reaction caused by a certain food may be more subtle than an allergic reaction to insect bites.
Here are the most common signs you should look for if you suspect your Labrador has an allergy to something he ingested or had contact with.
- Reddish and swollen eyes and ears
- Hair loss
- Chewing of paws
- Swollen paws
- Excessive licking
How to Determine if Symptoms are Due to Allergy
Itching, sneezing, hair loss, and swelling are not exclusive signs of allergy. These may also indicate other conditions and diseases. The health history of your dog and the onset of symptoms are key to detect if your Labrador has an allergy. The likelihood of the presence of allergy triggers in areas visited by your is a must to consider.
If you are unable to find out if it is an allergy or your dog has any other disorder, it is always advisable to contact your vet. He may ask you a few questions about your Labrador and preexisting health issues and symptoms. He may inquire about your Lab’s surroundings, the places he frequents, food he eats, and more. If your veterinarian is unsure of the underlying cause of the symptoms, he may suggest blood or other tests to accurately diagnosis the problems and recommend proper treatment for your Labrador.
How To Deal With Food Allergies
The food your dog eats can be a cause for concern. An intermix of various ingredients, commercial dog food is the most common cause of allergies in pets. Also, your Lab may experience allergy if he has eaten table scraps or new treats and have certain medications recently. If you or your vet is able to confirm that your Labrador is suffering from food allergy, you may make a checklist of things served to your dog in the past few days. Stop feeding your Lab any commercial dog food, treats, or any other ingredient suspected of causing allergy.
If unable to determine the cause, you must follow an elimination process to zero on the food your dog is allergic to. Make a list of food items, including added ingredients, that you are serving to your dog in his daily meals. Stop each of them one by one to find out the food that is causing allergy. It takes between a few minutes to 24 hours for a food to result in allergic reaction in your dog.
If the elimination process is too tedious for you and you need to act quickly to rein in the allergy, you may change your Lab’s diet altogether. Make sure you select a food with a protein source that is different from what you have been feeding your dog until now. Also, select a food that has lesser ingredients when your Labrador has an allergy linked to food. Make sure to be consistent with your dog’s feeding regimen and do not give him or her any other food, including treats or table food, for at least 3-4 months.
If you see an improvement in your dog’s condition, continue with the food presently serving. But avoid the food you have discarded when you Labrador has an allergy. However, do not stop investigating the cause of allergy in your dog yet. Start feeding your Lab some treats of one particular variant at a time until you find out the ingredients your Lab is allergic to.
Treatment Options When Your Labrador has an Allergy
Finding out the specific triggers that result in allergic symptoms in your Lab is a priority. However, it is equally important that you should treat swelling, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, and other perilous symptoms immediately. If left untreated, these may cause serious complications. Severe allergies can cause your Labrador’s throat to swell – making it hard for him to breathe or eat.
To relieve your Labrador’s discomfort, your veterinarian is most likely to prescribe anti-histamines medications. He may also give your Lab an allergy shot or suggest applying hydrocortisone creams on the skin of your dog. Bathing your Labrador immediately may also help lessen the itching and redness.