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Friday, April 25, 2014
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Dogs & Grain Allergies

By Jamie Conrad
 
Canine allergies are a commonplace problem for dogs and their owners. Sometimes the allergen is the grain in your dog's diet. Recognizing and treating grain allergies in dogs is easier than you may think.

Symptoms

Irritated skin, excessive scratching or licking, vomiting, diarrhea and gas, wheezing, sneezing and coughing are all signs of grain allergies in dogs.

Causes

Many dog foods use wheat or other grain sources as a major ingredient to bulk up the food. Just like humans, some dogs simply cannot tolerate these grains.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination and take a medical history, as well as possibly temporarily changing your dog's diet by eliminating one food at a time to diagnose a food allergy.

Immediate Treatment

Topical and oral medications may be prescribed to treat uncomfortable symptoms of the allergy. The elimination diet may be continued over the course of a few weeks to pinpoint any and all food allergens your dog is suffering from.

Long-term Treatment

Once a grain allergy is officially diagnosed, your veterinarian will recommend a grain-free dog food for your dog to prevent further allergic reaction. Do not deviate from this diet or offer table scraps, as you can never be sure what may contain a grain that will set your dog's allergies off again.
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