What You Should Know About Dog Hypersensitivity

What You Should Know About Dog Hypersensitivity

Dogs, just like humans can become allergic to various things and if you’re concerned about providing a safe and healthy environment for your dog you should take the time to research the subject. Allergies can be life threatening is some cases and it’s important to be aware of any abnormal behavior in your dog as this may indicate that there is something seriously wrong with your pet. The body produces antibodies to ward of infection and disease but sometimes the antibodies will turn on the body and this is what we see when we are dealing with an allergic reaction. There are several different classes of hypersensitivity and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them so you know what you’re dealing with if your dog has an allergy.

Type 1

hypersensitivity is sometimes referred to as immediate sensitivity and it can be very severe. Immediate sensitivity as the name implies, results in an immediate reaction and is a result of your dog’s antibodies overacting to a certain substance and going into overdrive by producing large amounts of histamines. This type of hypersensitivity is commonly caused by injections and some medications. Hives are also a symptom of this type of reaction.

Type 2

hypersensitivity occurs when the body’s antibodies turn on itself. This can result in a low blood count and usually happens during a blood transfusion.

Type 3

hypersensitivity is commonly referred to as immune complex hypersensitivity and basically results from an immune reaction in the body which ends up lodged in a particular area. When these immune complexes form they sometimes move to the kidney and can cause kidney failure or compromise kidney function. If left untreated, this condition can lead to rheumatoid arthritis. This commonly occurs in large dogs.

Type 4

hypersensitivity commonly referred to as delayed hypersensitivity occurs after twenty four hours of exposure to the allergen. Exposure to certain chemicals, dyes and metals can cause this kind of reaction.

When dealing with allergies in a dog, it is vital to remember that immediate medical advice should be sought. If your dog is acting strangely or seems abnormally restless you should investigate and take a closer look. Hives on the skin can be a sign of hypersensitivity as can a swollen face. If your dog is pawing at his face or scratching more than usual you should take him to the vet. Hypersensitive reactions can even cause the throat to constrict and your dog will have difficulty swallowing and breathing. This can be life threatening and emergency care should be sought.

Your vet should be able to determine if the trigger is food or something in the dog’s environment. Being vigilant and taking the time to learn about allergies and what they mean to you as a dog owner should ensure you’re well informed should this happen to your dog. Arming yourself with information is the first step in dealing with a crisis should one occur. Keeping on top of your dog’s general condition on a daily basis can literally save your dog’s life as you will notice the moment something is a bit off with your dog and you will be in a position to deal with it right away.

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