Canine Allergies - Little Critters Veterinary Hospital - Gilbert, AZ

Little Critters Veterinary Hospital

1525 N Gilbert Road Suite #C-101
Gilbert, AZ 85234


Canine Allergies

Welcome to the Canine Allergies page at Little Critters Veterinary Hospital in Gilbert, AZ. This section is devoted to understanding and managing allergies in dogs, a common yet often challenging condition. Allergies can significantly impact your dog's quality of life, manifesting in various symptoms like itching, scratching, and skin infections. At Little Critters, we stay at the forefront of veterinary medicine, offering innovative treatments such as Cytopoint and Apoquel, which have revolutionized allergy management in dogs. These therapies provide relief from the discomfort associated with allergic dermatitis and improve the well-being of your canine companion.

In addition to these treatments, we also emphasize the importance of accurate diagnosis through blood allergy testing for atopy. This testing helps in identifying specific allergens affecting your dog, allowing for more targeted and effective treatment strategies. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care and relief for dogs suffering from allergies, ensuring they lead a comfortable and happy life. Explore this page to learn more about the signs, symptoms, and advanced treatment options available for managing canine allergies.




 Itching

 Scratching

 Biting at the skin

 Licking

 Chewing

 Rubbing

 Scooting

 Gnawing

 Paw chewing

 Inflamed skin

 Flaky skin

 Foul odor

 Skin Infections

 Ear irritation

 Ear infections

Did you check multiple boxes? If so you dog likely has allergies and is suffering but it can stop now.

There are many new and very safe therapies available for Atopic Dermatitis (seasonal allergies in dogs) and our favorite is Cytopoint

In-Depth Guide to Canine Allergies: Testing, Desensitization, and Recognizing Symptoms

Canine allergies can significantly impact the quality of life for dogs, causing a range of symptoms from skin irritation to respiratory issues. Effective management requires an accurate diagnosis, which can be achieved through allergy testing, followed by targeted treatments such as desensitization. This guide expands on the process of allergy testing and desensitization and highlights common clinical signs, including foot licking, to help dog owners better understand and manage their pet's allergies.

Allergy Testing in Dogs

Allergy testing is crucial for identifying the specific allergens that affect a dog. There are two main types of allergy tests:

  • Intradermal Skin Testing (IDST): Often considered the gold standard for diagnosing atopic dermatitis, IDST involves injecting small amounts of common allergens into the dog’s skin to observe reactions. This test must be performed by a veterinarian and usually requires sedation or anesthesia.

  • Serum Allergy Testing: This involves taking a blood sample and testing it for reactions to different allergens. While it's less invasive than IDST, it may not be as sensitive or specific as skin testing but is useful for determining environmental and food allergies.

Desensitization Therapy (Immunotherapy)

Once allergens are identified, desensitization therapy can be initiated. This long-term treatment involves gradually exposing the dog to increasing amounts of the allergen to build up tolerance. This can be administered in two ways:

  • Subcutaneous Injections: Regular injections given under the skin, typically starting with weekly doses that may be reduced to less frequent maintenance doses.

  • Sublingual Immunotherapy: A newer method where the allergen is given in small doses under the tongue. This method is gaining popularity due to its ease of administration and potential reduced risk of side effects.

Common Clinical Signs of Canine Allergies

Recognizing the signs of allergies can prompt a timely visit to the vet, which is crucial for effective management. Common signs include:

  • Foot Licking and Chewing: One of the most common signs of allergies in dogs. Dogs may lick or chew their paws excessively due to itchiness caused by contact with allergens.

  • Itching and Scratching: Persistent scratching is a hallmark of allergic reactions and can lead to skin damage.

  • Red, Inflamed Skin: Often seen in areas like the groin, underarms, and around the eyes and ears.

  • Ear Infections: Frequent and recurrent ear infections may be a sign of allergies, especially if they are accompanied by head shaking and ear odor.

  • Hot Spots: Rapidly developing, painful areas of skin inflammation that occur when a dog incessantly licks or chews a particular spot.

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Though less common, some dogs exhibit vomiting or diarrhea in response to food allergies.

Managing Canine Allergies

Effective management involves a combination of avoidance of known allergens, symptomatic treatments like Apoquel and Cytopoint, and possibly immunotherapy. Regular bathing with medicated or hypoallergenic shampoos can help remove allergens from the skin and coat, reducing irritation and discomfort. Dietary management, including hypoallergenic diets or novel protein sources, can be crucial for managing food allergies.


Understanding the various aspects of canine allergies—from the initial testing and diagnosis to the detailed observation of symptoms like foot licking—can empower dog owners to seek proper treatment. Implementing a comprehensive allergy management plan that includes regular veterinary visits, lifestyle adjustments, medical treatment, and possibly desensitization therapy, is key to improving and maintaining the health and happiness of allergic dogs. Regular monitoring and adjustments based on the dog's response to treatments are essential to successfully managing this challenging condition

Ask us about a Cytopoint injection for you dog today (480)696-7744

Itch associated with allergic dermatitis? Consider Apoquel tablets

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