Skin allergies in Golden Retrievers range from atopic dermatitis to common rashes and irritations. A dog that comes into contact with mold, dirt, pollen, and household chemicals is likely to develop skin problems. Food is another cause for concern while parasites, such as fleas, too play a part. Many Goldens also turn allergic due to environmental irritants.
How To Identify Skin Allergies in Golden Retrievers
Look for Allergy Signs
If you are aware of common symptoms of skin allergies in Golden Retrievers, look for indications in your dog, which may include:
- Scratching the same post frequently and vigorously
- Red spots on the coat
- Itching in the tail, eye, ears, or back
- Runny eyes or sneezing
- Infections in eye and ear
- Diarrhea or swollen paws
- Inflamed throat or vomiting
- Scabs or hair loss
Know Common Allergy Triggers
Once you come across signs of skin allergies in Golden Retrievers, try to relate them with exposures to possible allergens in your surroundings. There are many common triggers leading to allergy in both humans and dogs. This makes it easier for you to identify the causes.
Excessive dust or mold in your house could be the first suspect. Do you smoke? Passive smoking is a trigger too. Check if your Golden has had a contact with household cleaning products or other chemicals. Perfumes, plastics, colors, and fabrics may also result in dog allergies. The role of dog products, such as shampoos, food grains, cannot be ruled out.
Beyond your home setting, the next potential culprit may be your garden or the surrounding environment. There are certain flowers, bird feathers, and pollen that could lead to allergy.
How is the air quality? Too much pollution is a concern for dog owners.
Limit your Golden’s exposure to these triggers to keep it away from allergies.
Contact your vet if allergy symptoms persist for a long time. A physical verification of the symptoms followed by an analysis of diet and environment may help zero in on the triggers. If the exact cause is not clear, he may suggest allergy tests using blood or skin samples.
How To Prevent Skin Allergies in Golden Retrievers
- Avoidance of triggers is the best way to prevent allergies. Make sure your dog stays away from common contact, inhaled, or ingested triggers.
- Ensure that your Golden Retriever spends less time outside to have reduced exposure to pollen, plants, pollution, and other environmental triggers. Every time he returns home, wipe off his paws and the coat. Remove any pollen or feather from his fur.
- If you are aware of any specific allergen or have been asked by your vet to avoid anything, make sure your dog remains away from that. Don’t let it visit your garden too frequently or come into contact with houseplants.
- Keep your house clean and vacuum out dust, molds, or mites. Pay special attention to the cleaning of the living and sleeping places, bedding, toys, and utensils of your pet. Set aside a non-carpeted place for your dog. Don’t allow it to venture into recently vacuumed or painted areas. Also, reduce his exposure to hot and humid conditions. Activated charcoal helps keep your garden bed free from molds.
- Have only branded grooming products with lesser risk or any potential of skin allergies in Golden Retrievers. Use only good-quality dog shampoos. An antimicrobial or antifungal shampoo is desirable when they have skin infections. Never use shampoos meant for humans. Avoid shampoo bath if your dog turns uncomfortably itchy. Be careful while bathing when your dog has skin lesions.
- Food allergies in Golden Retrievers can be easily prevented with awareness and thorough examination of ingredients. Don’t switch to a new food instantly. It is better to introduce the dog to a new food gradually. Mix commercial dog food with home-made meals to reduce the allergy risk. If allergy surfaces, change the food or give only home cooked food to your Golden.
How To Treat Skin Allergies in Golden Retrievers
Treatment of skin allergies includes the use of prescription drugs. If your pet continues to remain in a severe state of allergy or develops secondary issues, you have to consult your vet. Allergic infection too requires medicated care. Allergy shots, creams, and soothing solutions are tried first to relieve symptoms. These help your dog overcome intense itching.
Antihistamines and cyclosporine are the most prescribed medicines to treat skin allergies in Golden Retrievers. These drugs inhibit the formation of mast cells in reaction to allergens and contain a severe form of itching. Steroid treatment is an option for your dog when antihistamines fail to provide lasting relief. However, these drugs have moderate to serious side effects on the pet health.
Immunotherapy has also emerged as an option to treat skin allergies in Golden Retrievers. It involves allergen injections and helps your dog desensitize to a specific allergen.