Allergic Reaction Sores on Dog
Sores and wounds on dogs are among the main reasons most dog owners seek veterinary services.
These sores cause a lot of suffering for dogs, and also a lot of distress for the owners as they are often confused by the cause and the best remedies for them.
The most common causes of wound and sore problems in dogs are allergies. There are different types of allergies that can cause sores on dogs, depending on the breed and the environment where the dog is kept.
Allergic sores on dogs can be small and minor and only appear in small areas, or can be much more widespread and serious.
Typically, a dog will first show early warning signs of sores appearing, and these early signs should be the signal to start treatment as soon as possible.
Vets sometimes see dogs that should have begun treatment a lot sooner, so never delay in seeking help for your dog if any sores appear.
The early warning signs of allergic sores on your dog can be small patches of hair loss. Even seeing one small area of hair loss should be treated as an early warning sign to start looking for the cause.
Very often you can treat your dog at home yourself, and that is what I mainly cover in this post. But never delay seeing your vet if you are unsure what to do.
What Allergies Can Cause Sores on Dogs?
Sores in dogs are caused by different types of allergies. They include:
1. Flea Bite Allergies
Most dog breeds sensitive to flea bites, and tend to develop allergies which cause serious skin sores.
Flea allergies are very severe, even if you don’t see any fleas on your dog. Dogs with flea allergies usually react to the flea saliva, which causes an itchy feeling after being bitten.
2. Food Allergies
Dogs may also develop allergies depending on the type of food they consume.
Most dogs are allergic to proteins, with the most common types being chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs.
Dogs with food allergies will develop sores on the face, ears, feet, and around the anus. Besides wounds, some breeds also show gastrointestinal signs of food allergies which include vomiting and increased bowel movements
3. Environmental Allergies
Environmental allergies are usually seasonal and mostly affect young dogs who are less than three years old.
These type of allergies are usually genetic and occur more in certain breeds.
When these dogs come in contact with certain environmental allergens including grass, pollens or dust mites, they suffer from intense itches which develop into sores after continuous scratching of the ears, face, feet, chest, back, and tummy.
Types of Dog Skin Allergies
As you’ve seen, sores on dogs caused are caused by many factors, from food, plants, dander, insects, etc.
There are plenty of different dog skin allergies that cause wounds, and it can be hard to identify which one is what. Below are some common dog skin allergies that cause sores.
1. Allergic Dermatitis (Atopic Dermatitis)
This occurs in dogs who have allergic reactions to food, grooming products, and environmental irritants.
These environmental irritants include pollen grains and insect bites. A dog with allergic dermatitis will tend to scratch relentlessly and peek the skin, which often reveals an ugly rash that eventually develops into an ugly wound.
Impetigo is another type of allergic infection caused by bacteria. In most cases, impetigo affects puppies.
Impetigo causes itchy blisters which are full of puss, that break, and crust over. These blisters mostly develop on the abdomen. Impetigo is not that common, and it can be treated using a topical solution.
If ignored, the infection can spread and cover the entire abdomen.
If your dog has a greasy skin that dries up to form scales, it’s definitely suffering from seborrhea.
In some cases, seborrhea is a genetically inherited and it affects the dog when it’s still young.
But most dogs with seborrhea got it as a result of allergies and hormonal imbalances and abnormalities.
4. Dry, Flaky Skin
Dry, flaky skin should be the number one red flag for skin allergies. It’s a common symptom of allergies caused by diets.
Whenever you notice your dog has dry, flaky skin, consider feeding it with Fido high-quality food. If you don’t realize any changes, reach out to your veterinarian.
5. Yeast Infections
If you notice that your dog is always scratching his/her ears or chewing her toes, get a veterinarian and let him check for a yeast infection.
Yeast infection allergies cause itchy, irritated, and discolored skin that sometimes develops into wounds after constant scratching.
These infections and wounds mostly affect the paws and ears, where yeast has an expedient space to grow.
How to Keep the Sores on Dogs Caused by Allergies Clean.
To keep the sores on your dog clean and free to infections, you’ll need to follow the steps mentioned below.
1. Hair removal
Before cleaning the wound, you’ll first have to remove the hair on, in, and around the wound.
If you don’t remove the fur, it will be trapped together with the pus in the wound, and you’ll have a harder time healing the wound.
In fact, these hairs will not only make the wound bigger but also act as a breeding place for germs and harmful bacteria. After shaving, mark the edges of the wound and observe it after a few days.
This is meant to act as a guide to whether the wound is healing or not.
If you notice that the infected area is expanding, it’s advisable to get professional advice from your vet.
This is because some allergies can cause more serious skin problems which may need the attention of a vet.
2. Disinfecting the wound
After you have shaved the area and highlighted the margins, clip the hair until you see healthy skin.
Then proceed with disinfecting the wound using a solution that will destroy the bacteria. Most vets recommend povidone-iodine, which is an organic iodine with no side effects.
Povidone-iodine does a good job of controlling most skin bacteria and allergies.
Iodine will not only get rid of pus from your dog’s wound but also keep the area clean and dry at all times.
Always remember that the cleaner the wound, the shorter the time taken to heal.
3. Apply topical solution
After you’ve cleaned and left the wound to dry, you can apply a topical solution to the wound, these may include raw aloe, colloidal silver, or layer of Manuka honey made from the tea tree plant.
A cool chamomile tea bag can also be used to provide a soothing effect.
Avoid using anything that has stinging properties on an open wound.
Stay away from solutions like tree oil, vinegar which induce pain when applied to a raw, open wounds.
Repeat applying the solution until the sore reduces in size, and your pet is no longer uncomfortable.
4. Preventing your dog from licking the wound.
Making sure that your dog doesn’t lick or touch the wound is critical to healing.
You can do this by using an E collar to prevent her from biting and licking the affected skin. If you don’t have an E collar, you can secure the wound by lightly wrapping the wound or putting a t-shirt on your dog.
If your dog continues to tamper with the healing of the wound, the wound will end up getting bigger.
Home Remedies for Allergic Sores on Dogs.
You can do several things to help increase the calmness and comfort of a dog that’s suffering from skin allergies.
Yes, frequent baths are great, but it needs a couple of tactics to keep your dog calm in the bathtub.
Here’s a list of natural dog remedies that can be applied at home.
1. Coconut Oil
If your dog has wounds caused by allergies, applying coconut oil can help in reducing the pain, which will keep the dog away from the wound, thus speeding up the healing process.
Coconut oil contains antifungal properties which are useful in promoting topical and internal healing.
It also contains the medium triglycerides, which complement Omega-3 oils.
You can alternate coconut oil with different types of oils, including omega 3 oils. But start with small amounts and ease into it gradually, while observing how your dog reacts to the coconut oil.
2. Black Tea
Sores on dogs are pretty moist, that’s why you should consider using black tea to dry up that wound.
Black tea contains tannins that can also help you stop the infection and speed up the healing process.
Dip a black tea bag in a glass of Luke warm water, let it cool and then use a cotton ball or the tea bag to apply the tea to the sore. Hold the packet on the sore for several minutes or for as long as your dog can hold it.
Calendula has been widely used to treat sores caused by various types of allergies.
Calendula comes in multiple forms: oil, lotion, cream, salve, tinctures, and teas.
Calendula is a well-known herb that reduces inflammation and itching and speeds up healing of the skin tissue. Moreover, calendula is very useful when it comes to calming itches, which will keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Calendula products can be bought at your local food store, and they’re safe for your dogs since they can be ingested as well. But watch out for tinctures that have alcohol as alcohol stings or irritates the area.
Hypericum is also a good option for treating allergic skin reactions in dogs.
Also referred to as St John’s Wort, this herb works wonders when used together with calendula to reduce inflation and pain and to promote the healing process.
You can dilute Calendula tincture and Hypercom in water to form a relieving and effective antibacterial wash for wounds.
Both tinctures can be bought from your local health food store. Remember to dry the area using a clean cloth after you’re done.
You can also get a ready-made Hypercal solution at your local food store if you’re lucky.
5. Vitamin E for Dogs
Vitamin E is great for wounds caused by dry skin.
You can massage your dog using vitamin E oil directly, or give it a soaking bath in water that has vitamin E, or you can even give your puppy a vitamin E pill.
If you choose to administer vitamin orally, ensure you get advice from your vet on the advisable dosage for your dog breed.
6. Oatmeal to Reduce Itching
Well- ground oatmeal is also a wonderful remedy for dogs’ wounds and irritated skin.
You can grind the oatmeal yourself or use baby oatmeal cereal. Stir the ground oatmeal and soak in a bath of warm water and allow your dog to soak in it.
Dogs with skin infections, allergies, and other skin diseases which induce itchiness have gained immediate relief from this approach.
7. Omega 3, 6 and 9 Chews for dogs
Also referred to as fatty acids, these Omega chews when put together, help in reducing itching and allergies while also improving your dog’s heart health, joints health, as well as boost your dog’s overall immunity.
These omegas can also help in increasing the shine, softness, and general skin health of your dog. Omega 3-6-9 chews are specifically meant for the harsh dog allergies out there.
How to Treat Sores on Dogs Caused by Allergies.
You shouldn’t use aspirin on dogs on your own, except under strict instructions from your veterinarian.
Aspirin can be used to control inflammation and pain from injuries and arthritis.
Moreover, aspirin helps in reducing the discomfort caused by severe itching of wounds. Dogs should be given buffered Aspirin, which is best given together with a full meal. Doing this will keep your dog safe with very few side effects.
Immunotherapy is widely used in treating Allergic Dermatitis (Atopic Dermatitis).
Before immune therapy is administered, the animal should first undergo skin testing to identify which antigens the animal is immune to.
After the antigens have been identified, a commercially prepared immune containing the antigens is administered to the dog.
The dog will receive a series of weekly and monthly doses, depending on the type of product used and the type of antigen being administered.
The animal then becomes immune to the offending allergens.
Although this treatment is time-consuming, it has a success rate of over 80%.
This treatment is the best option in case of severe cases of atopy. If your allergic pet is not responding to conventional types of treatment, you should consider this treatment option.
Everyone has his/her own opinion about steroids.
Sadly, most of these opinions are always negative, unless they were once suffering from a severe health condition that needed steroids for relief.
If used correctly, steroids are very effective when it comes to relieving severe inflammation and itching in dogs. The problem with these steroids is that they work so well that most people end up overusing them.
Using steroids on your dog should be reserved as the last option after all the other treatment methods have failed.
Steroids are available in two forms, in tablet forms, and in injections.
Dogs use corticosteroids and not anabolic steroids, which are used by bodybuilders.
Steroids boost the skins immunity and improve endocrine system. Despite the possible side effects of using steroids, its usage can be very effective if careful dosage schedule is followed.
Still, you should consider using steroids after you’ve exhausted all the other treatment options.
Essential Oils That Can Help with Dog Wounds Caused by Allergies
Essential oils are not only great for humans; these oils are great for dogs too.
Here are some great essential oils for your dog if he’s suffering from wounds caused by skin and other types of allergies.
Lavender is a full-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-anxiety, pretty much anti-everything oil that can be used on your dog’s wound.
When your dog is itchy, and you want to make him relaxed, try rubbing a solution of diluted lavender oil on the wound, and the itchiness and pain will go away.
Niaouli is a substitute for tea tree oil, with the same anti-bacterial and antihistamine properties.
If your dog’s wounds are caused by allergies caused by food, environment or a secondary skin infection, this essential oil will assist you in attacking both problems at once.
It works well on scars around the ears and abdomen
3. Sweet Marjoram
Marjoram is available in different flavors, but sweet marjoram is definitely the best flavor to be used for the treatment of your dog’s wounds.
Apart from its strong antibacterial properties, this type of essential oil is also a muscle relaxant and a calming agent.
Sweet marjoram is well known for healing wounds caused by allergies and bacterial skin infections.
Helichrysum is great for treating eczema in people.
This essential oil can also be used to treat itchy skin conditions in dogs.
Helichrysum also provides pain relief and promotes the healing of wounds, scars, and bruises on dogs due to its regenerative effects.
Use these essential oils on your dog, and you’ll bid goodbye to the wounds caused by allergies.
Preventing Sores on Dogs Caused by Allergies.
1. Flea Allergy
Healthy skin is the key to preventing allergies and sores caused by fleas!
Ensure your dog is well groomed to keep away fleas and ticks.
If your dog has a thick and heavy coat, clean him regularly to prevent it from matting. Matted coats trap moisture which acts as a breeding site for parasites, such as fleas, which creates a perfect environment for the development of allergies.
Also, ensure that you contact your veterinary surgeon in case your dog seems itchy; he will assist in identifying the cause, and the solution before the itch develops into an ugly wound.
Using flea prevention products can also help in preventing itchiness that’s caused by flea allergy dermatitis.
Apart from treating your dog, treating and keeping the surrounding environment is also very important.
Studies show that over 80% of the fleas hide in your dog’s surroundings; that’s why treating areas where your dog loves to spend time is important. These areas include bedding and vacuuming your house if your dog stays indoors.
2. Food allergy
You can diagnose food allergy in your dog by feeding him on a diet that’s not allergic for a period of one to two months.
This period is referred to as the food elimination trial. Let your veterinarian recommend to you a diet that your dog isn’t allergic to or a diet that has very little proteins that the body doesn’t mount an allergic reaction to them.
Avoid giving your dog treats and human food when it’s still in the food elimination trial, as doing this will interfere with the results. After knowing which type of foods your dog is allergic to, you can proceed with eliminating it from his diet.
3. Environmental allergies
Environmental allergies do occur but in rare cases.
That’s why they’re mostly diagnosed as exclusions.
Your vet has to rule out the possibility of flea allergy dermatitis, infections, adverse food allergies, and other causes of skin allergies and wounds before the sores problem is attributed to environmental allergies.
Environmental allergies can be done using a blood test or an intradermal skin test blood test.
If your dog has environmental allergies, limiting him to environmental exposure is ideal but not practical!
You can manage environmental allergies by using a combination of medications, diets, environmental changes, and diets that promote the production of antigens.
You can also prevent this type of allergy through immunotherapy, a process that involves the injection of an antigen that will prevent the body from reacting with environmental factors.
4. Contact Allergies
Contact allergies aren’t common in dogs, and they’re usually detected by avoidance and scratch testing.
The best way to keep your dog away from contact allergies is through avoidance.
If that’s not possible, you can use biotin, fatty acids, antihistamines, and different types of topical shampoos to control the itching.
Most pet owners mistake contact allergies to environmental allergies because it mostly causes wounds on the paws, which is one of the main contact points in a dog.
5. Allergic Dermatitis
Allergic dermatitis can be prevented using Corticosteroids, but the most effective prevention method is through identifying and avoiding exposure to the allergens.
General Care of Your Dog to Prevent Sores On Dogs Caused by Allergies.
Besides the solutions discussed above, ensure that your dog undergoes lots of physical and mental stimulations based on his age, breed, and health.
Always groom your dog to eliminate the likelihood of it having fleas. Also, give her fresh spring water that doesn’t have any chlorine or fluoride.
Also, remember that the natural and home remedies recommended in this article are safer and more effective for your pup than conventional medicines.
These natural solutions will help solve the issue that’s causing the allergies unlike most conventional “anti” medicines, which simply suppress the allergies temporarily, and you’ll notice it return later.
I wish you and your dog the best of health!