Just like human beings, animals develop allergies too. And for pets, allergies are often mistakenly diagnosed as an ailment. That’s why it’s important to learn all about the symptoms of an allergic reaction to provide the right treatment for your pets. A vet should check any sign of an allergic reaction right away. Once the allergy is diagnosed, it is much easier to relieve the symptoms.
Signs of Allergic Reactions in Shih Tzu
The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction in Shih Tzu will depend on external or internal irritants. External allergies are caused by pathogens or allergens touched or breathed in by the dog. Internal allergies are caused by an allergen ingested by the animal.
Signs of External Allergies
- Uncontrollable scratching
- Skin rashes
- Redness on certain body parts
- Sores, bumps, lesions
- Difficulty in breathing
- Watery eyes
- Nasal discharge
External allergies are often caused by dog shampoo, detergents, rug cleaners, and flea bites. If left untreated, a simple allergy could lead to hair loss, foul-smelling lesions, and skin infection.
Signs of Internal Allergy
Internal allergy is often caused by food. Some Shih Tzu cannot tolerate carbohydrates, beef, pork or chicken. Others are allergic to soy, corn, or wheat.
Symptoms of Internal Allergy
- Itchiness around the face, legs, and rectum
- Yeast infection in the ears
- Soft stools
- Frequent defecation
- Gas, diarrhea
- Irritated eyes
- Swollen paws
- Asthma-like symptoms (wheezing, coughing, sneezing)
Diagnosing and Treating Allergy
You simply cannot diagnose a condition without a health expert. Our advice is to talk to your vet and give all the information you have regarding the condition. The type of treatments to consider will depend on the allergy of your pet.
Treating External Allergies
Your pet is also likely to go through several blood and skin tests to check if the discomfort is caused by an allergic reaction, not an ailment. Once the vet determines what’s causing the Shih Tzu’s discomfort, he or she will prescribe medications ease the symptoms. The vet will also recommend simply pet care tips.
Your vet could prescribe special shampoos and replace old shampoos to ease irritation. The vet could also prescribe meds to treat a skin infection, rashes, or fleabites. Our advice is to use high-quality shampoos made from mild ingredients to reduce the risk of an allergy.
Treating Internal Allergies
To treat internal allergy, your vet will identify the food that triggers the allergic reaction. During the treatment, your pet should eat a special homemade diet for at least 8 to 12 weeks. All types of supplements – including vitamins, and medications – are stopped. No treats and table scraps either. The pet will stick to the special diet until the symptoms subside. At this point, you may gradually introduce certain foods into his diet and wait for a reaction. Once the allergen is identified, you have to eliminate it from the animal’s diet.
For instance, if your pet is allergic to grains, you need to switch your dog to a non-grain pet food. If the animal is allergic to chicken, you need to avoid all types of pet foods that contain traces of chicken including treats, broth, and seasonings.