Common Causes of Allergies In Chihuahuas

Chihuahua Allergies

Chihuahua Allergies

Chihuahuas can suffer from allergies just like we can. In fact, it's believed that 1 in 5 of all dogs experience some form of allergies. Although they usually don't pose a serious threat to their health, watching a Chihuahua experience an allergic episode can be a frightening sight for their owner. But what exactly causes these cute little canines to exhibit this behavior? Keep reading and we'll go over some of the most common causes of allergies in Chihuahuas.

Depending on the severity of the situation, a Chihuahua suffering from allergies may require medical attention, or they may simply need to wait it out. The real problem occurs when the allergic reaction creates new concerns of its own. If you believe your Chihuahua is suffering from allergies, the first thing you should do is consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.

Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with allergies:

  • Excessive licking, especially around the paws.
  • Wheezing and honking noises (AKA reverse sneezing).
  • Sneezing.
  • Dry, peeling skin.
  • Eye/nose mucus or discharge.
  • Itchiness associated with scratching.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness/lethargy.

Note: All Chihuahuas respond to allergies in different ways; therefore, it's highly unlikely that your Chihuahua will exhibit all of the previously listed symptoms.

Chihuahua Suffering From Allergies

Chihuahua Suffering From Allergies

Internal Allergies

Allergies can generally be broken down into two different categories - internal and external. The first ones we'll cover, internal allergies, are triggered by things inside the Chihuahua's body as opposed to things outside their body.

One of the most common types of internal allergy triggers are food. If you notice your Chihuahua exhibiting any of the previously mentioned symptoms immediately after eating, there's a good chance they are allergic to the type of food you are feeding them. Internal allergies such as this may include itching of the throat, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. We talk a little more about choosing a high-quality dog food for your Chihuahua in an earlier post, but in general you should avoid foods with a high gluten content, corn and "filler" products. Stick with organic meat and vegetable blends, and only purchase your dog food from a reputable store or dealer.

Of course, Chihuahuas may experience internal allergies from food they shouldn't eat but have. No matter how hard you try to prevent it, sneaky little Chihuahuas are bound to get their paws on some of your table food. Whether it's from you feeding it to them or from them reaching up on the coffee table when you aren't looking. Unfortunately, however, table food is more likely to trigger an allergic reaction simply because of their bodies aren't used to digesting the ingredients.

Certain medicine can also trigger an allergic reaction in Chihuahuas. If you notice your Chihuahua experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking any medication, immediately discontinue use and consult with your veterinarian. The side of effects of an allergic reaction from medication are oftentimes worse than the health condition its used to treat.

External Allergies

External Allergies

External Allergies

On the other side of the fence are external allergies; and as the name suggests, these are triggered by forces outside of the Chihuahua's body. Because these triggers occur externally and not internally, there's a far greater number of things that may cause external allergies.

Shampoos, conditioners and soaps are some of the most common sources of external allergies. Many owners don't realize that these commonly used products contain fragrances and dyes that Chihuahuas simply aren't used to. As a result, some of them may experience an allergic reaction as their bodies response to these foreign chemicals and ingredients.  Allergies from shampoos, conditioners and soap will typically result in itchiness accompanied with redness from scratching the affected area.

Flea bites are another common source of external allergies in Chihuahuas. Just a single flea can bite a Chihuahua as many as 400 times a day, all of which leave behind an open would that triggers an allergic reaction. Imagine having hundreds of even thousands of itching, painful bites all over your body. To make matters worse, there's nothing a small Chihuahua can do to soothe the pain. Whether you believe your Chihuahua is allergic to flea bites or not, you should take the necessary precautions to keep them safe from these awful insects.

The truth is that practically anything can trigger external allergies in a Chihuahua. If their bodies believes a chemical or ingredient is foreign, it may respond by throwing the Chihuahua into an allergy attack. External allergies are typically less severe than internal allergies, but they can still be concerning, especially if it's a common occurrence that doesn't seem to go away on its own.

Dealing and Treating Allergies

The first step in treating a Chihuahua suffering from severe allergies is to talk with your veterinarian to voice your concerns. Only a professional and experienced veterinarian will be able to diagnose your Chihuahua's condition as an allergic reaction. Depending on how severe their condition is, your veterinarian may recommend a medication like antihistamine. In fact, some veterinarians tell owners to give their Chihuahua a small dose of Benedryl. But this should only be done after consulting your veterinarian.

Treatment will vary depending on what's triggering your Chihuahua's allergies. If they are primarily experiencing a skin allergy, your veterinarian may recommend a topical cream. On the other hand, your veterinarian may tell you to change your Chihuahua's diet if they believe their food is triggering the allergic reaction. There are some Chihuahuas that are allergic to all types of dog food, forcing their owner to cook their meals by hand.

As you can see, Chihuahua allergies are a serious problem that can result in a wide range of unwanted symptoms. Minor allergic reactions may only result in a slight itching sensation, while more severe ones can cause upper respiratory problems, vomiting and diarrhea. Thankfully, veterinarians are trained to diagnose and treat allergies in Chihuahuas. No matter how minor your Chihuahua's allergy attacks are, it's important to seek the advice of a professionally trained veterinarian.

References:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-allergies.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allergies_in_dogs


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