Allergies are one of the top medical issues that can affect canines.
Many elements can trigger symptoms in a dog. These can manifest
as external, internal or both. How can you help you Boxer?

• Determine that he or she is indeed suffering from allergies
• Narrow down what your dog is allergic to
• Use medication if necessary to help your dog heal
• Eliminate the cause

Your dog’s skin may show a reaction. This can range from slight itching to very bothersome symptoms such as relentless itching that will cause your dog to scratch until they lose fur. Sores can develop; these can quickly become infected. Fur loss may also occur directly from the allergen itself.
 
Fleas - Fleas on a dog will cause itching. Fleas on a dog who is allergic to the saliva of a flea will cause terrible itching and lead to serious symptoms
Treatment - Fleas are not very hard to get rid of if you use a 3 punch plan.
 
•Treat your dog with flea medication to get rid of fleas, both adult and larvae
•Treat your entire home with flea bombs
•Use a soothing medication on your dog to begin the healing process of sores and lesions.

Deep sores or lesions may need the help of an antibiotic medication, which can be given to you by your dog's veterinarian.

Chemicals - A dog may have a reaction to the cleaning solution on your carpeting, the detergent used to clean your bed sheets or their dog bed, the shampoo that is used to groom them...any powder or fluid that they come into contact with. Treatment - The owner must experiment to determine the cause. Take away 1 element at a time. Since the symptoms can linger for a week or more, allow at least 7 days to see if the element taken out of the picture reduces symptoms. If so, find a permanent alternative. Any deep sores may need an antibiotic treatment, prescribed by your dog's veterinarian.

This type will cause symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea. It is not normal for a dog to have either of these symptoms, at any time. If your dog is getting sick in this way, it is best to have them checked out by their veterinarian immediately. Most likely, the cause will be something that was ingested. This is a serious condition that can quickly cause weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration to your dog. Secondary symptoms such as itching and respiratory issues can develop as well.
"The chase" Photo by: Padraicyclops
Allergies in Dogs

Dog Food – Boxer’s are notorious for having food allergies.  Your dog may become allergic to an ingredient in their dog food that they had previous eaten without any problem, sometimes for years!   The Boxer dog is especially sensitive to dog food with a  high grain content, particularly those including corn or wheat.  Treatment - The process of determining the cause of your dog's allergy may take months. Currently, clinical testing is very unreliable for canines.  Elimination testing, done at home, is the common way to help your dog.  Each day is a step toward recovery.  Process of elimination of such foods that contain high contents of grain.  The dog must be fed a strictly 100% hypo-allergenic diet.  If the dog is given even a small amount of food that was previously in his or her meals, the test will be corrupted and an owner must begin again from the beginning.  Talk to your veterinarian, they may prescribe a hypo-allergenic dog food and have you add supplements, vitamins to help boost the immune system.

After your Boxer is fed this for 1 month, every week or 2, a food element is added, one normally found in their dog food or treats.  For example, you may want to begin with chicken.  If your Boxer seems fine, add rice the following week and so on.   Keeping this strict diet for your Boxer and keeping a close eye on his or her reaction will show you what specific food your dog is allergic to.   

Respiratory:  This will cause coughing, sneezing, Wheezing and sometimes choking sounds.   This can range from mild to quite severe.  Dogs with this type of allergy can sometimes literally be struggling to be able to breathe.  However, the most blatant symptom will manifest as itching, quite severe itching. A Boxer may have such an uncontrollable urge to ease the itch that he or she licks, bite or scratches excessively and to the point of ripping out fur. These types of dog allergies more often strike female Boxers and begin to occur between the ages of 1-4 years old.  However, a Boxer of either gender may have this at any age. 
 
Trees, Weeds, Pollen and Other - Just as a human have "seasonal allergies, so may your dog.  A Boxer can be allergic to outside elements all year long.  Dust Mites, tiny microscopic bugs, can be present indefinitely if they are not purposefully eliminated. Treatment - Dust mites can be eliminated by washing everything you possibly can in hot, sudsy water.  The entire home must be dusted with a product that actually lifts the dust away and does not simply send it scattering into the air.  Carpeting must have a deep cleaning, usually done best by a professional.  This type of over haul cleaning should be done every 4-5 months.  To learn more about the Dust Mite, please visit
http://www.dust-mites.org/

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"The Chase" Photography by:
Patrick McArdle
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