Symptoms of Dog Skin Allergies

By Chelsea Ehrke
Dog skin allergies cause various symptoms, including loss of hair, itchy skin, ear infection, poor coat texture and hot spots on the skin. Owners often feel helpless when they see their pets in pain, but it is much easier to address the issue if the owner can determine whether or not the pain is related to allergies.

Fur and Coat Problems

Hair loss is a common symptom associated with allergies in dogs. Hair loss usually results if the dog comes into contact with a skin contaminant. Itchy skin is often associated with hair loss, aggravating the symptom as the dog scratches the affected area and causes hair to fall out. Hair loss occasionally leads to hot spots as well.

Poor coat texture is another common problem associated with allergies in dogs. Contact or food allergies cause poor coat texture in several ways. Many allergies cause some hair loss on their own, but itchy skin will add to the problem and cause the dog to chew away at their fur and create patches. When skin is inflamed, with or without scratching from the dog, oil isn't balanced correctly and fur will start to look dull and may stop growing.

Itchy Skin and Hot Spots

Itchy skin is one of the most common symptoms of dog skin allergies. Usually caused by a skin contaminant in the form of a fabric, medicine or chemical used in the household, itchy skin causes the dog to scratch and whimper. Itchy skin often becomes red and inflamed and will break open and bleed if the dog scratches at it too vigorously.

Hot spots are red, round patches of skin where the fur has fallen out. They appear inflamed and are often extremely painful for the dog. These sometimes appear on their own as the result of a severe allergic reaction and are sometimes caused by the dog chewing at itchy skin. Hot spots can become infected and grow larger without treatment.

Ear Infection

Dog's ear's are some of the most exposed areas of skin on their body, so the ear is quick to be affected by allergies. Ear infection causes a foul odor to come from the ear canal, and creates pussy discharge, redness and swelling. Ear infection is usually a sign of a food allergy or an allergy to something the dog is inhaling, such as pollen or dust.
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