Dog First Aid – Allergic reactions

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Dogs too would have an adverse reaction if the body is invaded by foreign substances. The immune system serves as protectors against foreign substance that will invade the body. When antigens are sensed, the immune system will trigger the production of antibodies. Bacteria, virus, fungus and parasites are infection causing agents. The body would benefit from the immune system’s protection against these harmful antigens

However, the immune system can also overreact to harmless substances. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system sends out antibodies to fight harmless substances like pollens, dust, and ingredients in food and medications. Not all dogs would have an allergic reaction to these allergens. What first aid methods can you administer if your pet is hypersensitive to any of these allergens?

Common signs of allergic reaction are sneezing, coughing and wheezing as well as immense itching. A swollen face, vomiting and diarrhea are other symptoms of allergic reaction. Allergens in the environment like pollens and dust causes allergy symptoms to occur. The allergic reaction could have been triggered by an insect bite or by an ingredient in the dog’s food. In a lot of cases, allergic reactions are not life threatening. Oftentimes, the allergic reaction will resolve itself. First aid treatment would still be necessary to ease the discomfort of the pet. A dog can die from severe case of allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is an emergency situation. With this kind of allergic reaction, the dog would suffer breathing difficulties because of the swelling of the airways. This type of allergic reaction cannot be treated at home.

Allergic reaction is usually not a serious condition and can be managed at home with first aid treatments. Due to an inquisitive nature, dogs have the tendency to suffer from allergic reactions thus Benadryl and antihistamines are a must in the dog’s first aid kits. An application of herbal medication to the affected area will relieve the itching. One effective first aid method for the dog’s itchy skin is to bathe the pet with cold water and oatmeal shampoo. Vinegar compress, ice packs and a paste made from baking soda and water are first aid treatments for insect stings. The same remedies are proven to relieve other symptoms of allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions can be prevented if the pet is not exposed to the causative allergens but it is difficult to pinpoint what triggers the pet’s hypersensitivity. Since dogs cannot tell us what ails them the only way a pet owner can administer first aid is to be constantly aware of the changes in the dog’s appearance and behavior.  

<a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/”>Sarah’s Dogs</a> has more information about <a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/guides/first-aid/”>first aid for dogs</a> as well as.<a href=”http://www.sarahsdogs.com/guides/first-aid/allergic-reactions.html”>allergic reactions</a>.

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robbie on October 18th 2011 in Dog Ownership, Dog behavior, training Tips

Remedial Action For Dog Hot Spots

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Dog hot spots, sometimes referred to as moist dermatitis, are a common skin condition experienced by dogs, which is brought on by persistent licking and gnawing at an inflamed area that is causing it irritation. A small inflamed spot can rapidly flare up to cover a much larger surface area, and if left untreated can result in painful pussy lesions causing much discomfort. 

Symptoms: These skin inflammations are usually bright pink to red in color, moist, and hot to the touch, and can also have broken skin due to a dog biting incessantly at the area, resulting in a sticky discharge if infected. 

Causes: Environmental allergies stemming from grass seeds, pollen, house dust, or reactions to fleas can all cause allergic skin reactions, whilst some dogs are allergic to certain types of foods, or to food additives, which can cause an allergic skin reaction. However, mange mites, anal gland impaction, and side affects from veterinary medicines or injections, may also cause allergic skin reactions in dogs. Dogs with sensitive skins may come out in a skin rash following grooming or shaving, which if aggravated by constant biting at the area could result in moist dermatitis. Moist dermatitis is common amongst all breeds of dogs, but Retrievers, collies and shepherds are more susceptible due to their long thick fur. 

Treatment: In order to prevent recurrence it is vital that one treats both the symptoms and the cause. It may be prudent to use some form of restraint or sedation when treating the symptoms, as the dogs skin will most likely be very tender, resulting in him trying to defend himself by biting aggressively when touched. If the dog persists on chewing and biting at the area after treatment, it can be temporarily fitted with an Elizabethan collar to prevent it from reaching the sensitive area, to allow the wound to heal. 

Steps to be followed to cure moist dermatitis skin afflictions in dogs: 

First of all clip the hair away from the infected area before commencing treatment, so that the wound is visible and can be cleaned and treated effectively. 

The infected area then needs to be washed with a medicated shampoo or soap, and then gently patted dry. 
Keep the inflamed area cool by applying cool compresses. Home remedies using tea bags as a compress to help cool down the skin also help to dry out the lesions. 

There are a few different options in terms of medical treatment that you can apply to treat the symptoms of moist dermatitis, and your choice will be determined by how severe the case is. If the wound is secreting puss, this indicates bacterial infection, and requires treatment by applying an anti-bacterial cream and/or antibiotics administered orally. To reduce inflammation and relieve itching antihistamine tablets can be given, or hydro-cortisone ointment applied to the area. 

Finally, prevention is better than cure, and you will save time, money, and poor Fido will be a lot happier if you get to the root of what is causing the skin problem in the first place, and take precautions to prevent recurrence. For example, if it is an allergy to fleas, then this needs to be addressed, if it is a food related allergy, then Fido may need a change of diet.