How to Soothe Golden Retriever Allergies (Recognize the signs !)
With a flowing coat, a graceful gait, and a noble face, the golden retriever may be the most majestic dog in the canine world. Yet it’s also a breed that is prone to a host of skin disorders. Fortunately, there are several ways you can help your big buddy out.
The Condition Behind the Irritation
All dogs - including your lovable goldie - could suffer from canine skin allergies called atopic dermatitis, or atopy. This condition typically manifests itself on parts of the body exposed to mold, dirt, or pollen. It is also common to see this issue develop around flaps of skin.
Why are Golden Retrievers so Susceptible to These Skin Allergies?
Unfortunately, the golden retriever’s most distinctive physical feature is also his biggest curse when it comes to picking up allergies. The breed’s long, thick double coats are magnets for picking up dirt, mold, chemicals, and other irritants known to cause atopy. This is particularly the case since the breed enjoys the outdoors.
A goldie’s double coat also makes it possible for these nefarious elements to fester and thrive into some of the deeper, darker parts of his body. These areas, such as the region around the groin, are marked by overlapping portions of skin that tend to trap irritants.
What are the Signs that My Golden Retriever has Allergies?
You’ll be able to spot your goldie’s allergy problem relatively easily. Constant paw licking, ear biting, face rubbing, and biting at the legs and flanks are all symptoms that could indicate your pooch may have an issue with allergies. These symptoms are commonly located on the mild end of the spectrum.
Over time, you may see more severe symptoms as your goldie tries to alleviate his pain. You may spot him trying to bite through his skin or rip out his fur to seek relief. Upon further inspection, you may see red bumps, hot sores, bare patches of skin, or sores festering along your dog's surface.
As you go through your golden retriever’s fur, make sure the issue is related to a skin allergy caused by an irritant and not something caused by a flea or tick infestation. The symptoms of both conditions may look similar at first. However, you should be on the lookout for tell-tale bug signs such as flea dirt or the parasites themselves.
How to Treat Skin Allergies
You should take your goldie to the vet at the very first sign of an advanced allergy. Ideally, you’ll want to nip this issue in the bud before he starts doing damage to himself, such as ripping out tufts of fur. The level of treatment he’ll receive will greatly depend on the stage of the ailment.
In milder cases, your vet may prescribe some medication to your goldie, or give him a medicated bath. If the skin condition is marked by a heavy presence of bacteria, the vet may prescribe heavier-duty stuff like antibiotics or a medicated shampoo. The endgame of these treatments is to ultimately make your pooch as comfortable as possible.
You Can Prevent Skin Allergies Before They Start
Considering that a golden retriever’s fur can be such a minefield for allergens, it is extremely important to keep up on grooming. It’s specifically important to learn how to keep both coats free of mats, as gnarled fur tends to have problems getting clean.
If you do see him mildly scratching an area, you can thwart the advance of an allergic reaction by giving him a bath with either a hypoallergenic shampoo or oatmeal. You’ll also want to make sure he’s completely dry afterward. If his allergies are a recurring issue, you may want to consider changing his diet or switching to pet-friendly household cleaners.
Don’t Let it Linger!
The most important thing you can do for your golden retriever if he’s suffering from an allergy is to take care of the issue ASAP. As long as he’s suffering the effects of atopy, your goldie is going to be in a miserable state of mind - one that will prevent him from being the dog you love. And wouldn’t you want your dog to be his normal, lovable self?