Yes, dogs can suffer from allergies, too. In this post, we’ll talk about signs your Labrador has an allergy and how to make your Lab feel better.
Signs Your Labrador is Having an Allergic Reaction
Sometimes allergic reactions are not prominent. An allergic reaction to a certain food may be more subtle than an allergic reaction to insect bites. Here are the signs you should look for if you suspect your Labrador has an allergy to something he ingested, he had a contact with, etc.
- Reddish and swollen eyes,
- Reddish and swollen ears,
- Hair loss,
- Chewing of paws,
- Swollen paws,
- Excessive licking.
Dogs and humans are allergic to mostly the same things such as smoke, dust, molds, some odors, some fabrics, food, and other things.
How to Determine if the Symptoms Your Lab is Showing is Caused By Allergy
Itching, sneezing, hair loss, swelling and more can also be signs of other conditions and diseases. Depending on the situation, a trip to the veterinarian may be necessary to determine if your Labrador is having an allergy or is suffering from a different condition.
The veterinarian may ask a few questions about your Labrador prior having the symptoms. He or she may ask about your Lab’s surroundings, the places he or she went to, food he or she ate, and more. If your veterinarian is unable to determine the cause of the symptoms, then he or she may perform some tests to properly identify your Lab’s health condition.
Dealing With Food Allergies
Perhaps the most common cause of allergies in dogs is food. It is not rare for dogs to experience allergy if they recently ate table scraps, new treats and medications. If you or your veterinarian is able to confirm that your Labrador is suffering from food allergy, then he will advise you to stop feeding your Lab the suspected cause of allergy. If unable to determine the cause, then you can an elimination process to find out what it is. To do this, list down the foods your dog ate 24 hours before his or her allergy broke out, and their ingredient. One by one, stop feeding each food or ingredient to your Lab until you find the food/ingredient your Labrador is allergic to.
If the elimination process is too tedious for you, then changing your Lab’s diet drastically may help. Just make sure to select a food with a protein source that is different from what you’ve been feeding him or her. Also, select a food that has lesser ingredients. Make sure to be consistent with your dog’s feeding regimen and do not give him or her any other food like treats or table food for at least 3 months.
If there is improvement, then you already know the food and ingredients your Lab can eat. But do not stop your investigation just yet. Start feeding your Lab some treats one variant at a time until you finally find out what he or she is allergic to.
Treating Allergy Symptoms
While finding out the specific allergen that causes your Lab to feel discomfort, it is also important to relieve your Labrador of the swelling, itching and more. Take note that severe allergies can cause your Labrador’s throat to swell – making it hard for him to breathe.
To ease your Labrador’s discomfort, your veterinarian will most likely prescribe anti-histamines like Diphenhydramine or Cetirizine. The vet may also opt to give your Lab an allergy shot or apply hydrocortisone creams to the skin.
Bathing your Labrador may also help lessen the itchiness. Do not bathe your Lab too often as this can cause his or her skin to get dry and cause more itching.