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How To Tell If Your Dog Has Allergies

In many ways, dogs are just like humans, and one of these ways has to do with allergies. If your dog’s immune system starts to recognize certain everyday things as dangerous, he will show allergic symptoms. Dogs with allergy problems typically will have extreme reactions to allergens that are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with their skin, so it is important to know the symptoms of allergic reactions so that you can bring your dog into 5 Points Animal Hospital for treatment. We would like to tell you more about these symptoms as well as what they can be allergic to and how we can help.

What are some common allergy symptoms in dogs?

dog-allergies-image-nashville-tn-5-points-animal-hospitalIf your dog begins to scratch more often than usual, you may want to check his skin to see if it is moist, red, or scabbed. Your dog’s ears and eyes may also be itchy as well. WebMD  lists other symptoms as sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen paws/paw chewing, constant licking, and snoring caused by an inflamed throat.

What could my dog be allergic to?

One of the most common allergy problem causers for dogs has to do with fleas, and they can also be allergic to dust mites, dust, dander, mold spores, and plant pollens. Sometimes dogs can be allergic to the food they eat or to the medication they take to control fleas. Cleaning products like shampoo, fabrics, and perfumes can also cause allergy problems in dogs.

How can 5 Points Animal Hospital help my dog with his allergy problems?

Many times we can diagnose the source of your dog’s allergic reaction after taking a complete history and a physical examination, but if the allergy symptoms persist after our initial treatment, we then may need to take skin and/or blood tests to get to the bottom of the problem. If we feel that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, we will recommend an elimination diet. For 12 weeks, we will prescribe a special diet that will be free of potential allergy-causing ingredients. It is essential that you only feed your dog this diet during the time period. Once his symptoms go away, you can begin reintroducing certain old foods to see which ones are causing the problem. We can help you find the perfect diet for your dog to avoid allergies and promote healthy nutrition. In some cases, we can prescribe allergy reactions, Benadryl, and/or fatty acid supplements.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from allergy issues, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment. We can help determine the cause of the allergies and make your dog feel more comfortable.

The Importance of Flea and Tick Prevention

Flea & Tick Prevention Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital When you have a pet, flea and tick prevention is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a pet owner. Not only do these external parasites cause a great deal of discomfort to your dog or cat, but fleas and ticks can also carry diseases. If your pet becomes infested with fleas, you, your family, and your home will also be affected by these parasites. Luckily, fleas and ticks can be easy to prevent by administering flea and tick control products to your pet that will keep him from being bothered. 5 Points Animal Hospital carries a wide variety of these products in both our office and our online pharmacy. We can recommend exactly which product will be the best for your pet. We would like to tell you more about this topic to help you be able to protect your pet from fleas and ticks.

Signs that my pet has fleas or ticks

If you see your cat or dog constantly scratching, fleas may be the reason. According to Vet Street, cats will groom themselves excessively in an attempt to get rid of fleas. Since fleas can be hard to see, we recommend taking a flea comb, running it through your pet’s hair, and wiping off the comb with a damp white paper towel. Small dark specks that leave a red stain on the paper towel is a sure sign that your pet has a flea problem. Ticks can usually be seen or felt in the hair coat, but some species of ticks are tiny and can be difficult to spot.

Preventing fleas

5 Points Animal Hospital offers a variety of safe, easy to use, and effective flea control products, which can either be administered orally by tablet or liquid or topically by applying a liquid directly to your pet’s skin. We can help you choose from products that are only active against adult fleas and ones that target flea eggs and larvae. Your pet may need more than one flea control product to break the life cycle of the flea. If a flea infestation has occurred, your pet will need to be treated repeatedly, and you will have to remove fleas from your pet’s environment. This means other animals in your home must be treated, as well as your home and your yard. You will need to vacuum all rugs, throw out all pet bedding, and launder sheets and other items to get rid of the fleas in your home.

Preventing ticks

Most flea control products also prevent ticks, but there are a couple of additional ways to keep ticks away from your pets. Heavily wooded areas and tall grassy areas are popular habitats for ticks, so avoiding these areas is important in tick prevention. You will also want to remove leaf litter from around your home because ticks love moist areas as well. Making a habit of checking for ticks, especially if your pet has access to wooded and grassy areas, at least once a day is another good way to prevent tick problems. If you do find a tick, take a pair of tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Squeeze the tick with gentle pressure until the tick lets go. 5 Points Animal Hospital can teach you other ways of safely removing ticks from your pet.

Preventing ticks and fleas is important to keep your pet healthy and happy. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out more about how we can help you with flea and tick prevention.

Signs Your Dog May Need to See a Vet

Signs Your Dog May Need to See a Vet Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal HospitalYour dog is a treasured member of your family, and you would never want him to be suffering from an illness or any other ailment. However, your dog cannot complain to tell you what is wrong, which is why it is important to know the signs that tell you your dog needs to go see the vet. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you about some of these warning signs so you will be aware of any symptoms that need medical attention.

Changes in eating routines

According to HealthLine, it can be normal for your dog to skip a meal or two, especially in the summer when it is hot outside. However, missing more than two meals is a sign of something wrong. You should also take your dog to the vet if he begins eating more than normally.

Changes in coat

If you notice any rough, bald, or dry patches on your dog’s fur, your dog could have a problem with his food, an allergy, or a skin disease. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out what the problem could be.

Changes in energy level

When your dog is sluggish and lethargic, it is a clear sign that something could be wrong. Although fatigue and sore muscles can be normal in hot weather, you should bring your dog in for an exam if these symptoms last for more than two days in a row.

Changes in stool

Your dog should have moist stools that are small and firm. Dry, hard stools are signs of dehydration, dietary problems, and other sicknesses. If your dog is straining, having diarrhea, or bloody stools for more than two days in a row, you need to contact us to schedule an exam as soon as possible.

Changes in eye appearance

If you notice cloudy or red eyes, excessive discharge from the eyes, or squinting, this could indicate an infection. Bring your dog into the vet to get medication to clear up any sort of infection before it worsens.

Be alert to these warning signs to keep your dog healthy and happy. Contact us st 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an exam whenever you notice any of these signs.

Be Alert to Signs of a Heat Stroke!

Be Alert to Signs of a Heat Stroke Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal HospitalThe strong heat and humidity we get here in Nashville in the summer can be dangerous for pets as well as humans. Dogs, in particular, are at an increased risk for heat stroke, which can be deadly. Since dogs do not sweat through their skin, they can only release heat through the foot pads and nose as well as by panting. If it is too hot for a dog to effectively release heat quickly, his internal body temperature rises. If his temperature gets as high as 106 degrees, he could have irreversible damage to his organs and cellular system. Most cases of heat stroke in dogs can be prevented, which is why it is important to know the signs of this elevation in body temperature. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share these signs and tell you more about helping your dog avoid heat stroke.

What are the signs of a heat stroke?

On extremely hot days when you are outside with your dog and your dog begins to vigorously pant, you may want to look at his mouth. According to About Dogs, dark red gums that are tacky and dry is a warning sign of heat stroke. Other signs to watch out for include dizziness, disorientation, lying down and unable to get back up, collapse, and loss of consciousness.

What do I do if I think my dog is having a heat stroke?

If you notice any of the above signs, it is important to take immediate action by moving your dog out of the heat and sun. Place cool wet rags on your dog’s foot pads and head, and change these rags frequently as they warm up. Do not cover your dog’s entire body with wet rags as this can trap in heat. Make sure the rags are cool and not icy cold. Using ice and ice water can cause more problems by constricting blood vessels, which prevents the body from cooling down. Offer your dog cool drinking water, but do not force him to drink. Do not let him drink excessively either. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital even if your dog seems to be fine after cooling down. There could be internal damage, so we can check your dog out and perform tests, if needed, in our office.

How can I prevent heat stroke in my dog?

Many cases of heat stroke are caused by leaving a dog alone in a car on a warm day, even with the windows down. Temperatures in the inside of your car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes, so never leave your dog alone in your car. Other ways of avoiding heat stroke include refraining from vigorous exercise on very hot days and always keeping fresh and cool water available for your dog. You should also know that certain dogs have a bigger sensitivity to heat. If you have an obese dog or a short-nosed breed like a pug or a bulldog, you should be very cautious when your dog is exposed to heat.

Taking quick action can help your dog make a full recovery from heat stroke, which is why it is so important to know the signs. If you ever notice signs of heat stroke in your dog, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital as soon as possible.

Dealing with Itchy Allergies in Dogs

Dealing with Itchy Allergies in Dogs Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal HospitalYou will definitely know when your dog is suffering from itchy allergy problems by his constant scratching. Although allergy symptoms in humans can range from itchy eyes to runny noses to frequent sneezing, dogs have mostly skin-related symptoms. 5 Points Animal Hospital understands how hard it is to watch your dog try to relieve himself by scratching, chewing on his skin, rubbing against furniture, and shaking his head, and we are here to help you and your dog find some soothing relief. We would like to tell you more about dealing with your dog’s itchy allergy issues.

Find what is triggering the allergies.

The leading cause of allergies in dogs is flea bites, so you should be sure your dog is on a dedicated flea prevention regimen. Our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital can recommend the best products for your dog. Dust, pollen, and other irritants can also get into your dog’s fur to trigger reactions. Frequent sweeping and vacuuming will help to prevent this type of allergy problems.

Give your dog frequent baths.

According to Vet Street, you should be giving your dog a bath at least once a week in the spring and summer to relieve allergy issues. If your dog has extra-sensitive skin, you may find that daily baths make a big difference. Regular baths will wash away the allergens from your dog’s fur to keep them from triggering itching and other reactions.

Treat serious allergy problems with medications.

If frequent baths do not seem to provide relief, your dog may have atopic dermatitis, and 5 Points Animal Hospital can help with immunotherapy, also known as hypo-sensitization. This treatment consists of small injections of allergens underneath your dog’s skin. We will show you how to give your dog these injections so that you can administer them at home. Another option we may recommend is medication that will prevent the triggering of allergic reactions instead of treating the symptoms from those triggers. This option can be beneficial as there are no side effects that can occur with the injections.

Keep allergy problems from making your dog uncomfortable. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out more about how we can treat these itchy allergies.

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