Common Dog Food Allergy Symptoms and  Signs of Sickness

Written by Dorothy Miller  |  Updated 01/22/2020

Identifying and Preventing Dog Food Allergy Symptoms

Common dog food allergies are something that is difficult to identify unless one is well aware of the baseline information with regard to this type of allergy. The main symptoms of food allergies in dogs include facial itching, limb chewing, belly itching, recurrent ear infections or skin infections which are signs of serious illness.

Since the dogs consume a lot of prepared food materials including various kinds of proteins, fillers, coloring agents and more; in the commercial food materials, the incidences of food allergies are more than one can imagine. Dog allergic reaction to food mostly involve the skin or the gastrointestinal tract.

If you come across your dog itching after the provision of specific food materials, then suspect the food allergy in this animal. However, conditions like fungal infections need to be ruled out in general before the conclusion of itching as a sign of dog food allergy symptoms.

There are many recorded incidences of allergies of dogs to corn or to wheat. However, food allergies vary from dog to dog. Read the labels clearly before feeding your dogs with pet food materials, in such occasions. Too much colored food materials may be avoided since they may cause allergies to your dog.

Food allergies are often linked to the hyperactive behavior noticed in the dogs. Added colors, preservatives, and a high-fat diet might cause such food allergies in the dogs and hence, one has to be careful in providing new kinds of diet to their dogs and closely monitor the dog for any signs of allergy.

There are many occasions that food allergies might be diagnosed in the dogs but the dog may have other problems like pancreatitis. To rule out the most common dog food allergies, observe your pet every time you feed them, look for reasons to link the signs of a dog with food given, specific signs encountered, differential diagnosis are the important features to be given emphasis.

Dog Illness Symptoms: Signs of Ill Health​

Signs of ill health are the most important signs of the health status in your dogs. For example, if the dog has continuous nasal discharge, it indicates the presence of nasal congestion and if the discharge is thick, most of the time, the dog may have pneumonia.

If the dog vomits one or two times occasionally, this may not be taken as signs of serious illness but if the dog continues this vomiting, then this may be a dog illness symptoms and something significant to be looked into.

If the dog has continuous itching, then one needs to check up the dog first by closer observation and examination of the skin by separating the hair material especially in the case of long-haired breeds. You may also come across a lot of ticks or lice on the skin, which may look apparently normal at a distance.

If the dog passes loose stool for one or two times, this need not be given more emphasis but if there is continuous passing of loose stool, then the dog is understood to suffer from bowel disorders. If the dog does not pass stool for two to three days, the digestive upsets need to be ruled out carefully.

Just patiently observe the dog’s walking movements and rule out any abnormal movements in the dog. If the dog is limping, the animal may have foot lesions. Similarly, if the aged dog has reluctant walking and less feed intake along with repeated vomiting, then acute renal disorders like nephritis need to be ruled out.

If there is whiteness in eyes, suspect the corneal opacity that may occur in diseases like trypanosomosis. When the dog becomes anemic, the mucous membrane of the eyes becomes paler and in severe cases, this may have a wall white color. If the dog bites chain and owners or others, look for behavior disorders and rabies needs to be ruled out. In case your dog's illness symptoms seem to be progressing quickly, it is advisable to seek professional help right away.

Heartworm, Dog Fleas Symptoms and Other Parasites

Heartworm, fleas and other parasites in dogs need to be eliminated by following appropriate medications in them. Many products have come up in the commercial fields to protect the dogs from heartworms, fleas and other parasites like hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, lice, ticks, and many others.

Among the heartworm, fleas and other parasites, the dog fleas symptoms produce the hypersensitive reactions in the affected animals. Hence, the animals infected with fleas start severely scratching of body. Many times, the scratching is so severe and the skin

becomes more hyperemic and dermatitis occurs in the affected areas.​ The animal will not lie down or sleep comfortably due to the constant bites by the fleas. Hence, the animal looks as if affected by some severe skin disease. If the animal is not properly attended for this tick bite problem, there will be often secondary bacterial invasions in these sites and there may even be a bad smell emanating from the skin areas.

Close observation of the dog is highly essential to rule out the occurrence of dog fleas symptoms disturbing the pet to a greater extent. Similarly, the skin of the animal needs to be tested for the presence of ticks, lice. For this, the hair materials need to be separated and the close observation with patience is required for the proper diagnosis.

In many incidences, if anemia is present, the blood protozoa need to be ruled out in addition to the hookworm problems. The clinical problems like anemia, loose motion, potbelly might be recognized by the dog owners themselves and however, the dog needs to undergo the routine health-related examination involving fecal examination, hematological examination and blood smear examination.

Many commercial products have come up in the market, which is useful to deal with all these conditions by a single dose. Drugs like ivermectin are highly useful and are available in both injection and oral form in addition to the solution form that can be applied on the skin. These drugs in dogs can lead to the prophylaxis of these conditions also.

Heartworm Prevention

Beef flavored chunks are available in addition to the beef flavored tablets or solutions that can be given orally to the dogs as a measure of heartworm prevention in dogs. Avoid mosquito bites by providing proper mosquito-proof shelter facilities to the dogs.

Just plan whether there is any need to go for the heartworm prevention throughout the year or only in some months of the year. For example, in the case of some countries, the mosquitoes may be dormant in most of the colder months.

However, in some countries, this is not a position. Many times, medications are available for oral administration to prevent heartworms along with hookworms. Such oral medications need to be taken as per the instructions. However, be cautious about the occurrence of any adverse drug reactions in the dog given with such prophylactic therapy.

Adverse event reports need to be sent if you come across any sorts of adverse drug reactions in your dog during the preventive treatment.

Soft beef flavored tablets are highly preferred by the pet animals as the preventive measure against heartworms. The pet owner needs to consult a veterinarian if the dose for the prophylaxis of heartworm is missed for a few months. On such occasions, the pet animal needs to undergo the heartworm test.

Heartgard, sentinel, interceptor, revolution are available in the commercial fields as drugs for the preventive measure. Avoid water stagnation around the dog shelter and the bushes around the area that facilitate mosquito breeding. This test needs to be carried out in consultation with a veterinarian who is specialized in pet animal health care and medicine.

As a preventive measure for the heartworms, the dogs need to be tested for the evidence of these worms at an age of six months. Real beef chewable tablets are available containing medical agents like ivermectin.

Common Questions About Heartworm

The common questions about heartworm are often related to the species affected by heartworms in addition to the dogs. One should know that in addition to dogs, the cat, fox, wolf, horse, sea lion are also affected. Can this be cured or not? Yes. This can be treated.

Q.  What is the drug used often for the prevention of heartworm in dogs?

A.  Ivermectin is the drug used often to have preventive actions for these heartworms. Dogs affected reveal

     constant coughing, panting and dullness on many occasions.

Q.  What will be the size of the worms?

A.  In the case of the females, it is about twenty-seven centimeters and in the case of males, it is about

     seventeen centimeters in length.

Q.  Is there any vector involved in the transmission of the disease?

A.  Yes. Mosquitoes often get associated as vectors in which the early development of larvae of heartworms

     occur in them.

Q.  Is the prophylaxis meant only for heartworms or others also?

A.  The prophylaxis is meant not only for the heartworms but also for the hookworms, whipworms, and


Q.  What is the infective type of larvae that is associated with the transmission of these heartworms?

A.  The third stage larva that is transmitted by the mosquito bites. This occurs throughout the world. In some

     areas, the incidences are less in colder months in which the mosquito breeding will not be there and maybe

     dormant during these periods.

Q.  What is the name of the drug used for therapy and prevention?

A.  Ivermectin and milbemycin oxime may be used for both purposes. Ivermectin is available in injection form

     and oral form. Additionally, the forms for external application are also available. The cost factor needs to be

     worked out for all these treatments.

Q.  What is the frequency of drug used for prophylaxis?

A.  One month before the mosquito season and up to two months after the mosquito season, ivermectin or

     milbemycin oxime may be given once monthly for the prophylaxis. Diethylcarbamazine may be used for

     therapy purposes.


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