Is your boxer dog suffering from inhalant allergy
One common problem affecting dogs, even your well cared Boxer dog, is skin related problem. Inhalant allergy is common in dogs as much as it is common in people. But unlike people who react to allergens through respiratory symptoms, dogs react through skin problems. In fact, pets almost always show allergic reactions through their skin, meaning, itchy skin may be due to food allergy, insect bite allergy or inhalant allergy. It is therefore a must to identify the underlying cause of itchiness before taking any measure to treat it.
Atopy in dogs is usually caused by the very same substances as those which cause reactions in people. These substances include pollens from trees, pollens from Bermuda grass, dust, mites and molds. If your Boxer dog shows seasonal itchiness, then it is caused by pollens. If the itchiness is present throughout the year, this maybe because of mold or dust.
Affected dog will display itchiness and scratching in every parts of the body, more severe on feet, flanks, groin and armpits. Biting, chewing at feet and constant licking can also be seen. Hair loss, skin lesions and inflammation may follow. Skin becomes thickened, greasy and has a strong odor. Ear flaps may become red and hot and may later lead to chronic ear infections. Constant chewing or scratching may give way for hot spots to develop and because of much licking, the dog’s hair color turns reddish to orange.
Atopy can be treated through various options. Symptomatic therapy (cool baths with or without Epsom salts or medicated shampoos) is frequently done however, this therapy provides only temporary relief. Corticosteroids are also used to reduce inflammation thus reduce itchy skin, however, they also affect every organ in the body. Side effects include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, inflammation of the pancreas, lethargy and termination of pregnancy. Consult your vet before giving these drugs to your dog. Antihistamines can be given as alternative to steroids. These drugs are far less harmful than steroids but not as reliable. Topical such as dips, soaks, shampoos and ointments are also used to reduce itching.
Atopy cannot be totally prevented since no one can really prevent airborne particles and allergens from messing your dear Boxer dog. However, if you know which substances your dog is allergic to, it is best to avoid those. Reduce molds by using dehumidifier or by placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your house plants. Use air cleaner to control dusts and pollens.
You cannot stop allergies from affecting your dog but there is something you can do to help prevent the problem- be careful in choosing your potential pet. Before breeding, a reputable breeder screens breeding stocks for possible diseases these animals are carrying in their genes. Ask your breeder about it.