Allergies are becoming a more commonly diagnosed health problem in many dogs. An allergic reaction can be harder to detect and treat in fluffier breeds like the Samoyed because of their dense fur coat. Identifying the triggers for your dog’s allergic response can help avoid a reaction. So you may wonder, are Samoyeds allergic to anything?
Any animal with an immune system can develop an allergic response, and that includes dogs. Although allergies are often hereditary, there isn’t enough research to understand breed-specific allergens. So, there is a chance your Samoyed may be allergic to something, but each dog needs to be individually evaluated by a professional to identify what triggers the reaction.
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What Is An Allergic Reaction?
An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system produces antibodies against a normally harmless stimulus. Usually, the immune system protects the body from disease-causing organisms like bacteria and viruses, but in an allergic dog, the response is directed towards a benign foreign substance. Dogs can be born with allergies or develop them over time depending on many inherent and external factors.
Signs Of Allergies In Dogs
When the immune response is activated, the cells involved produce many proteins and chemicals that can affect the whole body. When they remain in the system for too long, they can cause unnecessary side effects such as:
- Skin redness
- Itching, which dogs demonstrate by scratching their body and ears
- Chewing or licking their paws
- Swollen face, eyes, lips, and ears
- Watery eyes
Unresolving skin and ear infections are a common complication of secondary bacterial contamination of inflamed skin caused by an underlying allergy. In treating these signs directly, many people focus on treating the symptoms but never address the root cause.
Identifying Allergies And Treating Them
Many different types of allergies require different diagnoses and treatments. Acute allergic reactions are those that happen suddenly and produce very severe symptoms over a short period. Similar to peanut allergies in humans, acute allergies require immediate veterinary attention because they can be dangerous if left untreated. Some common causes of acute allergies in dogs are insect bites, contact with an allergenic substance, and reactions to medication or blood transfusion therapy.
Chronic allergies are those that occur at a low level over a long period. They are harder to identify because the symptoms occur gradually and are easily confused or complicated by other issues. To successfully diagnose them, you and your veterinarian must work together to systematically rule out the possibilities until the cause of your dog’s allergy is identified.
Some common forms of chronic allergies are food allergies, contact allergies, and atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Ingredients in your dog’s diet cause food allergies. Dogs with a food allergy may vomit or have diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. Introducing new foods to your dog’s diet too fast may also cause a similar response, so make sure to introduce new foods gradually.
Food allergies can also present as skin redness and itching. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a food trial to identify which ingredients are causing your dog’s allergy so that you may avoid them in the future. Some of the most common foods that cause allergies are beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, and wheat.
Contact allergies are less common than food allergies. They are caused by an allergen coming in direct contact with your dog’s skin.
Some plants, such as ivy, nettles, and certain grasses, can cause a significant reaction at the points of contact. This usually happens on the paws, chest, belly, and around your dog’s snout. Other reported contact allergies include a reaction to household chemicals, flea collars, and materials such as wool.
Contact allergies are often resolved after removing the offending substance and treating it with a short course of anti-inflammatory therapy.
Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
Various substances found in your dog’s surroundings cause atopic dermatitis. It is the most common form of allergy in dogs.
Common triggers are pollens, dust, dust mites, mold, and mildew. Your dog may be allergic to one or many of these allergens. Also, flare-ups may or may not be seasonal.
Intradermal skin testing has been popularized to identify the source of this type of allergy. When used in conjunction with immunotherapy, it is a great tool that allows your vet to produce a customized vaccine to help reduce your dog’s allergic reaction and control symptoms. However, immunotherapy for dogs is not widely available yet, and it is important to consult with your veterinarian before pursuing any such tests.
Unlike food allergies where the source of the issue can easily be removed from the dog’s diet, identifying that your dog’s allergies are due to dust or pollen will not automatically allow you to fully eliminate these allergens from their surrounding. Unless used to pursue immunotherapy, the time and resources used for testing would be better utilized for the treatment of your dog’s symptoms.
These allergies may also require an adjustment to the home environment, with better ways to remove things like dust from home, for example.
In Conclusion: Are Samoyeds Allergic To Anything?
Just like humans, dogs have the potential to develop allergic reactions to their diet or surroundings. Some dogs may never have any symptoms of allergies. Others may be born with certain triggers or develop them over time. So, when it comes to whether or not Samoyeds are allergic to anything, the answer is yes they can be.
There is limited research on Samoyed-specific allergies because the development of a response very much depends on your dog rather than the breed as a whole. However, if your Sammie is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, a thorough workup by a veterinarian will be able to tell you if your dog is allergic to anything.
So, is your Samoyed showing any of these allergy signs? Let us know in the comments below!