It might take a while to know all you need to know about your new beagle dog after all. You may have acquainted yourself with all its demeanors; how it acts when it needs to play or needs a meal, so you would also probably know when on a more serious note, things are not all well with your dog, and you’re certain it’s not just the usual hunger pang and boredom.
For instance, your healthy looking dog may seem to develop some strange itching, eye discharge or bloodshot eyes, ear or skin problems, etc. – just like in humans, when they are faced with certain allergies, they react immediately, and the signs are often physically evident.
Animals share numerous similarities with humans, so it’s of no use to think that you are the only one at risk of exposure to those pollens and dust mites during spring and summer, or those house contaminants and foods that trigger allergic reactions, as animals do get both seasonal, environmental allergies and food allergies and your beagle is no exception.
When you find your beagle dog having some unusual symptoms, whether mild or severe, it isn’t out of place to suspect an allergy trigger lurking around the corner. Be observant, notice if its body is itchy, or it’s breathing unusually, sneezing or having changes in its fur and eyes, so as to spot out its triggers and learn how to control or avoid it.
Symptoms of allergies in Beagles
I do admit, some of these symptoms can be quite ambiguous, so it’s easy to think that they are signs of one thing when they are in fact signs of another. Not to worry, the most important thing is to detect what seems like an unusual occurrence for your pet and to deal with it accordingly. Here is the main list of symptoms that are an absolute pointer to your beagle dog’s allergy, remember, they may have one or more of these symptoms at a time:
Your beagle’s allergy symptoms could be internal or external, it can also be a sign for two different allergies, for instance, itchiness of the skin is a sign for both food and seasonal allergy.
• Dry, itchy skin- the beagle dog may scratch or lick its skin spontaneously as all animals do, but an observant pet owner knows when it’s becoming too frequent. It looks almost as though your dog would go haywire. The skin under its coat feels dry and itchy, and that’s why he scratches and licks to soothe the discomfort. Added to the itch you might even discover that it has developed a rash. In severe cases, your beagle might begin chewing itself, and this indicates serious itchiness that may result to injuries and patches of skin with no fur covering as the teeth of your beagle are sharp enough to cause skin damages.
• Loss of hair – If your beagle’s fine fur starts thinning and having patches of hairless skin areas here and there, it might be a sure sign of an allergy. This should be addressed immediately; otherwise, your beagle may not look so attractive when this occurs.
• Inflammation of the ears – beagles and their signatures ears are inseparable. These ears are pretty sensitive and could develop ear problems as an indication of an underlying allergy. Although ear inflammation is equally a sign of an ear infection, your vet could easily help you discern which the problem is.
• Stomach upset – This symptom usually occurs along with food intolerance and what the stomach results to is a loss of appetite, unnatural calmness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
• The dullness of coat – When you see that you beagle dog’s previously shiny coat is suddenly looking dull with no single luster and appears quite rough, feel free to suspect an allergic reaction.
• Bloodshot eyes and excessive discharge – this is a pointer to a seasonal allergy, especially when your dog has come in direct contact with an allergy trigger, the eye discharge can become quite excessive.
• Coughing/wheezing/shortness of breath – this could be easily dismissed as a sign of cold, dog flu or treated as a respiratory infection, but keep in mind that it could just be the symptom of an allergy. Similar to the signs of dog flu, your dog might give of wheezing sounds and perhaps you might think its nasal pathway is clogged with mucus, or its beginning to develop asthma, just do not rule out the possibilities of an allergy.
Kinds of Allergies that affect the Beagle dog
Your beagle’s allergies can be Environmental/contact allergy or food allergy caused by food intolerance. Your beagle dog is highly active and adventurous in nature and so could come in contact with a lot of organisms or environmental elements which may pose a threat to its health, some of these elements include fleas and dust mites, and these could attach to its skin and cause discomfort. Also, grasses, tree pollens, and molds around the environment could easily trigger allergic reactions in your beagle.
Other kinds of contact allergies may be caretaker induced, for instance, inferior dog shampoo and other grooming products which can cause a skin reaction and ruin its coat. Other chemicals such as the ones used around the house as cleaning agents, detergents and air fresheners may lead to allergic reactions on your beagle who as a house dog cannot avoid coming in contact with any of these things.
How to handle environmental/contact allergies
If you suspect your dog has environmental/contact allergies, it’s best you make your environment as suitable for your beagle as possible, simply get rid of the causes. Keep your home extra clean, use air filters and home purifiers to reduce particles that airborne. Keep your grasses very low and use milder house cleaning agents. Wash your beagle’s paws and wipe its coat whenever he’s about entering inside the house and has your own shoes left behind at the doorstep before you walk in – these will prevent pollens and other allergens from following you or your dog back into the house.
Food allergies – The issue with some dog foods is that they have been packaged with chemical additives, either for preservation, color enhancement or flavoring purposes. While they might make the food taste or look better, the additives could be an allergen for your beagle dog, and daily consumption can take a toll on them.
Unlike other allergies, food allergies are a little easier to detect since it mostly results in stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea. This food intolerance can also lead to dry, itchy skin and rashes, loss of fur as a result of irritation.
How to handle food allergies
You can simply have a change of food and watch how your dog reacts to it, after some experimenting, you would have decided which food rests well in your dog. You can feed your dog with Purina HA Hypoallergenic, it not only controls allergic reactions, it also serves as the best diet to put your dog on while trying to determine within a period of 8 – 12 weeks, if the regular tummy upset, itchy body and ear problems, etc. are as a result of food allergies in its previous diet. While the food may be a little expensive to purchase, it would save you some veterinary cost in the long run.
It’s best to abstain from foods and snacks that contain additives and go for the ones formulated for dogs with allergies for the meantime,E.g., Wellness Core’s Natural Grain Free dry dog meal, Wellness Core’s Natural Grain-Free Wild Game Duck, Turkey, Boar and Rabbit and Wellness Core’s Natural Grain-Free Ocean Whitefish, Herring and Salmon, these foods will also repair your dog’s allergy-affected skin with all its nutritional benefits.
What to do immediately you realize your beagle’s got allergies
Sometimes your beagle’s allergies may be a cause of emergency and just like you have immediate home treatment or first aid treatments or just a little bag of over-the-counter drugs lying about the house in case you get a cut, a little cold or headache, you should be equally prepared to administer first home treatment to soothe your dog before things get out of hand immediately. These are immediately going to offer relief to your dog before he gets a visit to the vet for a proper veterinary test.
Bathe your beagle with the right shampoo, go organic. Shampoos which soothe dryness and itching in particular and those that contain moisturizing and astringent elements are hypoallergenic. For instance, the Moosh anti-itch-concentrated-Organic shampoo and EarthBath Tea Tree Oil & Aloe Vera Shampoo they are 100% organic and will work magic on your beagle’s body.
You can also make use of anti-itch spray on areas with patches caused by extreme irritations and scratching, this also soothes your dog’s allergies without hurting its sores, and examples of some are Vet Organic’s Hot Spot Anti-itch spray and Bodhi Dog’s Anti-Itch Oatmeal Spray.
Lastly, make sure your house is free of allergens to avoid bringing in allergens from the outside environment into the house and make use of certified air filters.
Vet treatment for your beagle’s allergy
The vet can offer a range of treatments for your beagle’s allergies, depending on what they feel is most suitable. The first treatment is a comforting bath with emollients that can soothe the itchiness, sores or dryness. Another treatment is the immunotherapy which takes a lengthy period of 6 – 12 months of taking anti-allergy shots.
Another treatment option is the corticosteroids; these are applied topically on the skin to soothe irritations and reduce inflamed skins, however the corticosteroids should be used for a short period of time as it has short term side effects, such as dehydration and excessive hunger, changes in behavior and the urge to urinate too often as well as long term side effects such as a resistance to the suffered condition and diabetes.
Supplementary treatments such as omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are natural nutrients which are anti-inflammatory and are found in fish oil and plants. It can be added to the beagle’s meal as they offer a subtle fish flavor which beagles appreciate and it’s got no side effects.