Diagnosing Dog Eye Allergies

Dog eye allergies are a common form of ailment amongst pets of all breeds, ages and regardless of gender. Allergy symptoms may develop in your dog's eyes regardless of the particular allergen that your dog is sensitive to. Typically, dogs suffer allergies to particular ingredients in their food or to particulate matter that floats in the air. Either of these types of allergy may contribute to symptoms in your dog's eye. Recognizing the symptoms of eye allergies is the first step toward diagnosing and treating them.

Symptoms of Dog Eye Allergies

Before you can begin to diagnose your pet's allergies, learn to recognize the symptoms. The following symptoms are oftentimes present in dogs experiencing allergies, but they may also indicate other medical conditions that are unrelated. For this reason, it is important to take careful note of all symptoms that you notice in your dog, as well as when they began and how they have progressed. The following symptoms are commonly seen in dogs with allergies:

  • Difficulty opening eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Discoloration in the eyes
  • Abnormal tear production or other discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Pawing at the eyes or rubbing on furniture

Veterinary Diagnostic Procedure

Once you have noted the symptoms that your dog is displaying, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. In order to diagnose your pet's allergies, your vet will begin by conducting a physical examination. He does this to determine the full set of symptoms and also to rule out other potential causes of your pet's condition.

If your veterinarian suspects that your pet is suffering from a food-related allergy, the best method of diagnosis is a trial-and-error experiment. During this test, your veterinarian will provide clear instructions as to how to feed your dog over a several-day period. Through a number of different and slightly varied diets, your vet will eliminate likely allergen ingredients from your dog's food one at a time. By measuring your pet's symptoms and reaction, you can determine if he experiences an allergic response to one or more of the typical ingredients in his food.

In order to test for particulate allergies, your veterinarian can run a test with your dog in the office. The principle of the test works the same way as the food allergen examination, but is conducted by injecting minute amounts of a range of common allergens into the surface of your pet's skin. Your vet will monitor the area around the injection sites for signs of allergic reaction.

In many cases, these tests will be sufficient to determine the source of your dog's eye allergy. However, if your dog suffers from an uncommon sensitivity, your veterinarian may need to run additional tests in order to properly diagnose the condition. In the meantime, you can help to alleviate your dog's symptoms by purchasing an air purifier and hypo-allergenic bedding for the home, as these tend to reduce general allergy symptoms in dogs and other animals alike.