Dog Eye Allergies

Dog eye allergies can cause various secondary problems. It's important to get veterinary assistance when a dog has problems with his eyes, so infections or loss of sight do not occur.

Causes of Eye Allergies

Many eye allergies in dogs are caused by factors in the environment that cause irritation. Pollen, dust and nitrogen gas floating around and entering a dog's eye can cause allergic reactions. Dry weather can often cause a dog's eye allergies to start acting up. A dog can also be allergic to things found in the home, such as soaps, detergents and natural materials (like cotton or wool). Many times environmental allergies that cause irritation to a dog's eyes will cause conjunctivitis, an itchy infection of the eye.

Flea bites can also cause a dog to experience an allergic reaction. The flea itself is not the problem; it is the flea's saliva causing the allergies. A dog that is allergic to fleas will be very uncomfortable if the parasite bites him near the area of the eye. A flea or insect bite can be so severe that it can actually cause the surface of the eye to have an allergic reaction.

Food allergies can manifest themselves as eye allergies. Food a dog does not tolerate well can cause his skin to become very itchy, including the skin of the eyelids. The skin can become inflamed and can cause problems with a dog's sight. Some nutritional supplements can also cause a dog to have an allergic reaction, like some types of Vitamin B that contain yeast.

Substances within a dog's body can affect his immunity, causing hypersensitivity and an allergic reaction to proteins the body produced.

Symptoms of Dog Eye Allergies

One of the first signs of an eye allergy in a dog is inflammation of the mucous layer of the eye. This may be accompanied by a clear discharge from the eye. If the discharge has mucous or pus, the dog's eye may be infected.

The area around a dog's eye may also become swollen or puffy if he has allergies. Eye irritations can cause a dog to squint. Bald patches around the eye can indicate an allergic reaction to flea bites.

Diagnosing Dog Eye Allergies

A veterinary ophthalmologist is recommended when it comes to treating a dog's eye problems. The doctor will want to complete a thorough inspection of a dog's eye to make sure he does not have an infection or another type of underlying condition that can cause irritation to the eye. The vet will also conduct a history of the dog's environment, what he is exposed to and see if the dog has intolerance to a food ingredient. Lab work will then be run to look for the presence of histamine. If histamines are found, they may be tested in the lab to see how they react, so a diagnosis can be made.

If you notice irregularities with your dog's eye, the assistance of a veterinarian should be sought before the problem gets worse.