An inhalant allergy in your dog, also known as atopy is an allergy to something that your dog inhales. Dogs can be affected by some of the same allergens as humans, including pollen (grass, trees, weeds), molds, mildew or dust mites.
When a dog has an inhalant allergy, he may react by becoming severely itchy. The dog will then begin madly chewing and scratching himself to try to relief the itch; which may result in hair loss or hot spots.
If your dog has lighter colored hair, the saliva will turn the hair orange or it may have a reddish tinge. If you see your dog exhibiting these behaviors, you may think that he has fleas when in fact it is an inhalant allergy.
If you have determined for sure that your dog has an allergy, it may be either year round or it may be seasonal. Of course, as your dog ages, the allergies may worsen, or the dog may develop allergies to various other pathogens.
There are a few treatment approaches, including:
- Bathing your dog using a hypoallergenic shampoo. This can provide some much needed, albeit temporary, relief to your dog.
- Anti inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to your dog to block reactions to allergens. In severe cases your vet may recommend steroids or a combination of both antihistamines together with steroids.
- Hyposensitization – this is a treatment that involves specific allergy shots that are used to desensitize the dog to the allergen. This is perhaps the best treatment option for a dog that suffers from a constant inhalant allergy.
There can be some side effects to allergies, including recurring ear infections.
In addition, if your dog scratches itself constantly, it may trigger increased sebum production which is the oil on the skin’s surface.
The more the dog scratches, the more sebum is produced and this results in your dog being very odorous.
Of course, if you cannot pinpoint a specific allergen, your dog’s symptoms may be as a result of hypothyroidism.
Your vet can conduct a blood test to determine if your dog has hypothyroidism.