We know dogs love to roll around in the garden but sometimes this can cause more trouble than we would like. Canine allergic dermatitis is a complex of diseases involving varied and multifaceted causes and physiological processes. Included within this complex are diseases like parasitic hypersensitivity, atopic dermatitis, food hypersensitivities and contact allergies. Often there can be an overlap within these syndromes. For example dogs that are allergic to fleas can have allergies to particular foods and environmental allergies like plants and pollens too.
Dogs can be exposed to environmental allergens either by direct contact or by inhalation.
Skin lesions usually manifest as itchy, red skin on the chest, stomach, groin, around muzzle and eyes, and between the toes. Due to the self-trauma from licking and scratching, secondary bacterial and fungal infections often perpetuate the itchiness. Where direct contact with plants is associated with allergic skin disease avoidance is obviously the best preventative measure. Bathing your dog in a medicated or soothing wash can also help to reduce the exposure to allergens that cause the allergic response. Omega 3’s and 6’s, formulated in premium pet foods, can also provide the skin with an extra barrier protection to allergens breaking through the skin surface. If these preventative measures fail to provide relief then often prescription medications from the vet may be required.
If you're concerned your dog might be allergic to some of the plants in your garden, or are concerned about which ones to look out for...call and see Dr Mel or Dr Vanessa to help you distinguish any skin conditions.
Some of the more common plants we see that cause allergic skin disease are: Moses in the Cradle ( (Tradescantia spathacea) andZebrina ‘Wandering Jew’ (Tradescantia zebrine)