Just as humans are prone to all manner of allergies, so are Bichon Frise dogs.
Dog health can be severely affected by untreated allergies as they may cause mild to severe discomfort. More serious life threatening allergic reactions can cause dog illness and, in extreme cases, result in death.
Symptoms of dog allergies come in many forms and have a wide range. If you believe your Bichon is suffering from any of the allergies described below, or has any other unexplained symptoms take him along to a vet for a proper diagnosis and the correct dog allergy treatment.
Atopy is the most common type of dog allergy and it is triggered (usually) by seasonal allergens. For example, if your Bichon is allergic to pollen then during the spring and summer months the symptoms will be more severe. If he is allergic to dust mites then the problem will dramatically increase in the winter.
Atopy symptoms include:
• Feet chewing/licking – inflammation, redness and soreness, brown discoloration and odor
• Face rubbing – reddened muzzle, chin and eye area with hair loss
• Constant licking of the elbow, flank, groin and belly – skin becoming red or scaly with odor and possible secondary infections
• Red, inflamed ear with a wax-like discharge and odor – rubbing or pawing at the ears
• Hot spots – sore, red, hairless areas anywhere on the body
Contact dermatitis is triggered when a Bichon has physical contact with something he is allergic to. These things can range from carpets, to certain materials, to cleaning products used on something which the dog has access to, plastics or rubber.
Contact dermatitis symptoms include:
• Severe and intense scratching
• Blisters and/or red itchy bumps on the hairless parts of your dog
• In chronic conditions – hair loss
Not to be confused with food intolerance, which is something that may cause vomiting or diarrhea, but is not the same as an allergy. A food allergy may flair up alongside an Atopy allergy.
Food allergy symptoms include:
• Itching on the face, anal, trunk and limbs areas
• Ear and yeast infections
• Secondary skin infections that will respond to prescribed antibiotics, but flair up again as soon as the course is finished
These are the most common types of allergies.
The more severe and serious allergies are:
• Urticaria (hives)
• Angioedema (facial swelling)
• Anaphylaxis – this is a rare and immediate allergic reaction and if left untreated can lead to shock, respiratory and cardiac failure, and death
If your Bichon Frise is exposed to anything he is extremely allergic to, symptoms will appear within twenty minutes and will require urgent medical attention.
Dog Allergy Treatment and Prevention
Watching your Bichon or Bichon Frise cross suffer with allergies is a horrible experience.
Vets for pets can usually diagnose an allergy – whether or not they will be able to prescribe anything depends on the allergy itself and the severity. Any vet will say that the very best way to treat an allergy is to eliminate the cause. It is finding the cause that can be the problem, however.
If a food allergy is expected your vet might prescribe a special zero-allergy food. You will not be able to feed your dog anything else at all (no treats, scraps or tidbits) for a period of time set by your vet. After this period is up you may start to introduce his old food and treats, one at a time, to see what might be causing the allergy.
It will be impossible to keep a dog with a seasonal allergy away from every bit of pollen, for example, and so antihistamines may be prescribed for the dog allergy treatment.
If a contact allergy is suspected then it will be hard, but not impossible to isolate the cause and then get rid of it or stop your Bichon’s access to it.
These allergies are found in all dogs although Bichon’s are unfortunately extremely susceptible to all kinds of allergies.
If you wish to avoid this in your pet, contact a breeder or a bichon rescue for a Bichon Frise x, another, less allergy prone, dog.
If adopting an older dog from a Bichon Frise rescue there is a good chance that the kennel workers will already know if there is an allergy and will be able to advise accordingly.
For more information about the Bichon Frise, check out the highly recommended Insiders Guide To A Happy, Healthy and Well Behaved Bichon Frise package today!