Skin allergies are often an inherited trait of the terrier dog breed, although they can also be caused by contact with a variety of irritants. The good news is that this condition is treatable so that you can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms your pet experiences.
Skin allergies in terriers occur most often when the dog's immune system responds inappropriately to a substance. In most cases the reaction is the result of the immune system reacting too much and recognizing the substance as a foreign agent, which it then tries to get rid of. Quite often you terrier may not show any signs of reaction in the form of an allergy and it is only after repeated exposure that the allergy makes itself known, which is why it is often hard to determine the cause. When the dog comes in contact with an allergen, the immune system goes to work immediately building up antibodies against it and these only come into play after the second or third exposure.
In addition to the numerous allergens that exist in the environment, both inside and outside the home, the terrier is known to have a predisposition to skin allergies. Therefore , these allergies will develop no matter how much you try to control the allergens to which the dog is exposed.
Taking your terrier to the vet every time the dog develops a skin allergy can be very costly. You do need to recognize the symptoms as soon as they appear. The common symptoms of skin allergies in terriers are:
- yeast infections in the ear that give off an odor - the dog is constantly scratching and itching showing that it is uncomfortable - the skin appears to be inflamed
Some of the causes of skin allergies in terriers are:
1. Bites from fleas or ticks.
When you terrier has parasites such as fleas or ticks, the saliva from the insect can cause a skin allergy to develop. As the immune system releases the antibodies needed to deal with the allergy, it can cuase allergic reactions to other substances, some of which are otherwise harmless.
Some terriers are allergic to certain kinds of food, just as humans are. Changing the brand of food is one way of finding out if this is the cause.
When you bring your dog to the vet for a skin allergy problem, blood tests can reveal whether or not an allergy exists. Allergy testing can also be performed on a small section of the terrier's skin to determine if there are specific allergens that you need to watch for.
Treatment for skin allergies in terriers mainly consists of bathing the dog at least once a week. This will help to wash away any allergens in the fur or on the skin in addition to helping to relieve the itchiness. Adding fatty acid to the dog's diet has also been proven to be effective in keeping skin allergies at bay. Vets can give allergy shots to the terrier if it seems to have frequent skin allergies and while there are many anti-histamine medicines for dogs that do work, they also come with side effects that could cause even greater problems.