Sensitivity to environmental substances is incredibly common among human beings. While severe reactions to substances occur in many people, mild allergies to pollen or dust mites are much more prevalent. However, humans are not the only mammals affected by these strange sensitivities. Canines are just as likely to have allergies as humans are. However, the way in which these allergies present themselves can be very different. It is important to know what signs to look for in your protection dog, and what actions to take if you suspect your dog may be having an allergic reaction.
Unlike in humans, where mild allergies to pollen or mold manifest as a stuffy nose, or watery eyes, dogs with these types of allergies often suffer from skin irritation, especially around the ears, paws, flanks and groin. While this is often nothing to be overly concerned about, excessive licking and scratching can create sores in the skin that may become infected.
It is also possible for your dog to have a food allergy. In severe cases, vomiting, diarrhea or even seizures may occur, but often the symptoms are harder to spot. Flatulence, sneezing, and general irritation of the mouth, throat, or intestinal tract may all result from a food allergy.
Finally, canines can sometimes be sensitive to certain types of insect bytes. This is especially true of dogs who have previously had very little contact with this type of insect. A dog with an allergy to flea bytes may suffer from irritated skin and itchiness in the area for as long as a week after the byte.
Detecting and pin-pointing allergies can be a very difficult task. It is common for allergies to develop over time rather than being present for birth, which makes the task of narrowing down possible allergens even more difficult. In all cases, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian if your German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois is suffering from any of the above symptoms. Every case is different, so it is up to you and your veterinarian to pin-point possible allergies. Of course, knowing what symptoms to look for is the first step in keeping your personal protection dog happy and healthy.