If your dog is constantly scratching, it may not be fleas. He could have allergies. Skin allergies have been linked to vaccinations, environment, food, and other pets around them. Sneezing, runny eyes, rough patches of skin and refusal to eat or play, could all be additional signs of a canine allergic reaction. There are several common canine allergies that can be diagnosed merely by examining your dog?s behavior and skin. Are there rough patches or missing hair? Does he continuously lick his back or tail, even when you cannot locate any fleas on him? Many of the same allergies that cause sinus congestion in humans will cause dogs to scratch until their fur falls out and sores develop. Pollen, dust, mites, and seasonal irritants like spores and mold will make your dog bite his paws and legs and rub his head against the floor as he tries to get relief from the itching. While steroids are a sure treatment, they can cause your dog?s immune system to fail. Many veterinarians will prescribe antihistamines and this is something you cannot try on your own as the dosage for canines requires professional evaluation. A dog walking in the yard can come into contact with pesticides used to treat the yard for fleas and this can cause skin rashes. Some dogs are allergic to flea collars, sprays, or shampoos. Others are allergic to certain types of fleas and get a reddish-brown skin discoloration that can result in scabs. This is called dermatitis and can be easily remedied by using an oatmeal or aloe flea shampoo, which has special emollients to help the dog?s oil glands produce more quickly after each cooling bath. Cortisone creams are available at pet stores and veterinary clinics to help give immediate relief while changing shampoos. Your dog could be allergic to his food if it is too high in corn content, so try a meatier or gravy-style food for a few days and see if his skin improves. Give moist food a try; most of them contain fatty oils to help dogs? coats and skin stay soft, pliable, and shiny. Dogs can develop allergies to their owners? perfume, aftershave, deodorant and, of course, cigarettes. People should not smoke cigars or cigarettes in an enclosed area, around pets, for any prolonged period of time, as this can also result in asthma and lung cancer. Dog allergies should not be ignored as the itching, biting, and rubbing can cause serious infections. At this stage, more expensive medical help is needed and the dog is in danger of dying from infection. Watch the dog?s behavior for warning signs of allergies. Most canine allergies can be correctly diagnosed and treated, resulting in a happy, healthy dog.
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