If you’re a poodle parent, it’s important to be aware of the most common allergies that can affect your pup. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top poodle allergies, their symptoms, and how they can be treated.
(This is an example only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition.)
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Poodles and Food Allergies
Poodles are great dogs with high intelligence, loyal nature, and trainability. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re immune to allergies. One of the most common allergies in the Poodle population is food-related allergies.
Suppose your poodle is having a reaction to food. In that case, they may start licking excessively, have more gas than usual, and act aggressive or lethargic.
The most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and hyperactive behavior.
In addition, if a Poodle is exposed to a food to which they are allergic for a long time, they may lose weight.
Food allergies can also trigger allergic skin reactions like hives, itchy skin, eczema, or ear infections.
Severe food allergies can even cause Poodles to have gastrointestinal issues or bacterial infections if left untreated.
If your poodle keeps getting year-round rashes or ear infections that your vet can’t diagnose, your dog might have a food allergy.
While Poodles tend to have sensitive stomachs, they aren’t more prone to food allergies than any other dog breed. Many Poodles have genetic allergies to certain foods that are passed down from their ancestors.
Although Poodles can be allergic to any food, they are often allergic to some protein in their food. This can include fish, chicken, beef, lamb, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, or some additives.
While your vet may do a blood or saliva test to check for food allergy indications, these aren’t the best way to figure out what’s causing trouble.
When your vet suspects that a food may be causing your poodle’s allergy, they will prescribe a special food elimination diet. A food elimination diet includes removing things like protein sources and switching out your dog’s medication or toothpaste to check for potential allergens. It will also add a source of protein that your dog hasn’t tried before.
An elimination diet typically lasts for 2 to 3 months. Some trials may only last for a few weeks to a month. You’ll need to follow this strictly since slipping your dog scraps or treats can prevent you from finding out which food is causing the issue. If you notice your dog reacting to a certain food during the trial, eliminate it.
Once the trial has ended, your vet may start slowly adding back potential allergic foods one by one to your dog’s diet. This can help your vet pinpoint what is causing the issue.
A bland diet that’s packed with nutrients is an excellent way to remove typical allergens that can trigger immune reactions. It also helps a Poodle’s sensitive stomach relax. A nutrient-rich diet may include chemicals, preservatives, colorants, and additives.
Suppose an elimination diet doesn’t do the trick. In that case, your vet may prescribe antihistamines or antibiotics if your dog continues to have contact irritation or infections from food sources. Take your dog to the vet immediately if it experiences an allergic reaction after changing its diet.
Poodles and Inhalant Allergies
Another big cause of Poodle allergies is airborne allergens in the environment. This can include dust mites, second-hand cigarette smoke, mold or mildew, tree pollen, grass pollen, and seasonal allergies.
If your poodle is struggling with inhalant allergies, they will likely experience strong and distinctive symptoms.
- Wheezing or trouble to breathe (this is a severe sign)
- Nasal dripping
- Watering eyes
- Excessive biting, licking, or scratching of the skin
- Itchy, dry skin that develops red sores or scabs
- Chewing paws
- Chronic ear infections
- Congested chest
- A dull coat
The world outside and inside your home can be full of potential allergens just waiting to trigger an allergic reaction. When food isn’t the culprit, the next thing to check is if something in their indoor or outdoor environment is causing a problem.
If your poodle has more issues during different seasons, then grass, weed, or tree pollen may be to blame. When a Poodle has constant symptoms year-round, it’s time to check for indoor allergens. Those can include cigarette smoke, dusty spaces, mold or mildew, or artificial air freshener sprays in the home.
The best way to ease your poodle’s inhalant allergies is to eliminate allergens from your home environment. If family members smoke, have them only smoke outdoors or in an area where smoke will not enter the home. Check your home basement, bathroom areas, basement walls or ceilings, and HVAC system for potential mold or mildew.
Do mold remediation or replace air filters throughout your home. Avoid letting your dog outside when the pollen count is high to reduce their chance of having an allergic attack. Once you’ve eliminated major inhalant allergy sources, it’s usually easy to figure out if something like your favorite air freshener is causing an allergic reaction.
Skin Allergies in Poodles
Even the best-kept poodle is vulnerable to many common skin disorders and allergies. As a breed, they also tend to suffer from sebaceous adenitis. This rare inflammatory skin disease causes dry, itchy, scaly skin and progressive hair loss.
Your poodle may experience skin allergies from both seasonal and contact irritants. Even poodles with a clean coat are susceptible to various skin disorders, including skin allergies.
A Poodle who has a skin allergy may exhibit the following signs:
- Red sores
- Excessive itching
- Eye congestion
- Chewing feet
- Dull, patchy coat
Common contact allergens that can cause Poodle skin issues include shampoos, detergents, carpet cleaners, and grooming personal care products. Other chemicals present in the home that a dog can come into contact with can also trigger skin reactions
A vet can do blood or skin tests to rule out specific allergens. When this is done, then you can make sure to avoid exposing your poodle to these allergens. A trip to the vet can also determine if your poodle is suffering from an environmental skin allergy trigger or a genetic disorder.
Keeping a clean house, keeping your poodle clean, and eliminating harsh chemical products from your home can go a long way to treating Poodle skin allergies.
Always use hypoallergenic products that are designed for a Poodle’s sensitive skin. For example, rub Vitamin E onto your poodle’s skin. This helps to soothe sores that are infection-free. For more severe cases, your pet may require medication, antihistamines, or steroid shots administered by a vet. You can also get cyclosporine, a popular itch-relief remedy, to spray on your poodle’s skin.
For long-term relief from a specific allergen, talk to your vet about hyposensitization therapy, where injections of the allergen are given to reduce a dog’s sensitivity to the irritant over time. This is a better treatment option for younger dogs than seniors since this method can take a long time to produce results.
Poodles and Flea Allergies
A big cause for Poodle allergies stems from fleas present in the environment. Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t realize how important it is to prevent fleas from invading their dog’s bodies. Eliminating the bug and treating the issue can give your dog a huge sense of relief.
A Poodle’s allergic reaction to flea bites includes:
- Severe itching
- Hair chewed off in patches
- Infected sores
Just one bite from a single flea can put your dog in agony and cause uncontrollable itching. Since a flea can jump 6 feet, your dog can catch fleas while out walking, from passing another dog, in the vet’s office, or at a grooming salon.
The flea’s saliva, rather than the bite, causes an allergic reaction if a dog is sensitive to the flea’s saliva. This is a major cause of a severe allergic reactions.
With a flea situation on your hands, you’ll want to tackle the issue immediately.
First, you’ll need to get rid of the fleas. You may want professional help cleaning your home of fleas, even if your dog just picked some up while out and about. That’s because fleas can breed and lay eggs in every crevice of your home.
While this is a scary thought, they are most likely to infest carpeted areas. You can walk over the floor in clean white socks and check for any little black specks you pick up. Then, try a flea fogger to get rid of them.
Next, wash your poodle with strong flea shampoo. Remember that if you use a topical flea treatment instead of medication, don’t give your dog a bath for 2 weeks to avoid washing off the medicine.
For effective and immediate relief, take your dog to the vet to give them a steroid shot to reduce swelling and itching. The vet will also ensure that the dog’s sores aren’t infected and may suggest hypoallergenic ointment or baths to help your poodle get the relief they deserve.