Being the largest and the most exposed organ of the body, pet skin is likely to be affected with mild to severe conditions. One of the major dog skin problems arise from allergies. Allergies can cause canine or feline acne . Allergies may arise from contact with an allergen or from food that does not suit your pet.
Before starting treatment for any type of allergy, it is of paramount importance that you establish the cause of allergy. It is erroneous to assume that only new foods cause allergies and consequent itching. The truth is that any food, new or old, can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. The commonly known skin condition of ‘hot spots’ can develop if your dog becomes allergic to his routine diet that he is no longer able to digest.
Food allergy often forms a typical distribution pattern, and your veterinarian is the best guide in this matter. You can suspect food allergy in your dog in conditions where the following occur:
- There has been poor response to treatment for mange.
- There is little or no improvement on administration of steroidal treatment.
- The dog has not previously experienced any seasonal allergies.
Dogs are often fed various commercial diets that contain processed proteins, fillers and artificial colorings. These undergo a further change inside the body. The auto-immune system may recognize them as foreign substances and respond accordingly. In such an eventuality, the most commonly affected organ in dogs and cats is the skin.
The only method to arrive at what is causing food allergy in a dog is through putting him on a trial diet. A trial diet can be one that is based on a protein source the dog has never eaten before. Through a method of elimination by trial and error the allergen can be identified. The latest approach to the problem is through the use of hydrolyzed proteins. A conventional source of protein is broken down with the aid of water into molecules so small that the immune system cannot recognize it.
During the trial period it is important to avoid all unnecessary medication and chewable treats not compatible with the trial diet.
Pets are exposed to external and internal risks. Attacks by external parasites cause mild conditions like dog or cat dandruff, canine or feline hair loss and other dog skin problems. Food allergy is a condition that has its roots in what your pet is eating, which can potentially damage the skin of your pet to a great extent. Lesions caused by food allergies result in skin problems that can be extremely uncomfortable and may distort the appearance of your pet.
Traditionally, home cooking has been the best non-allergic diet for pets. In many cases, home cooked food may still be the only choice to avoid food allergy.