Goals of Treating Canine Food Allergies
The goals of treating a dog with food allergies are to identify and remove the offending components from the dog’s daily diet and to treat any secondary bacterial skin infections that may have happened as a result of the licking, scratching and biting that usually accompany this frustrating medical condition. Fortunately, food allergies are not especially difficult to treat. However, it can take a great deal of time and patience on the part of the owner to figure out which items in his dog’s diet are causing it to suffer from an allergic reaction.
Treatment Options for Dogs with Food Allergies
Dogs with food allergies can benefit from a number of different topical and oral treatments to help relieve the itchiness and discomfort that usually accompany this condition. First, however, the food ingredient or ingredients that are causing the allergic reaction need to be identified and removed from the dog’s diet. Once that is done, antibiotics can be administered to treat any secondary bacterial skin infections that may be present. Topical and/or oral antihistamines can help to relieve the itchiness associated with food allergies and can reduce the accompanying self-trauma from scratching and biting. Corticosteroids may be appropriate in some circumstances to reduce inflammation, although they can mask other symptoms and make it more difficult to determine a dog’s actual response dietary changes. The dog’s owner should discuss the possible side effects of any treatment with his dog’s veterinarian.
The outlook for a dog with food allergies is good to excellent, as long as the dietary ingredients that the dog is allergic to are accurately identified and removed from its daily meals. Owners have to be diligent and patient during the elimination diet process, and must not give their dogs access to any treats or foods other than those few pure dietary ingredients that they are supposed to be eating. Any variations can taint the diagnostic and treatment results and force the owner to restart the whole lengthy process.