The Cocker Spaniel is an active and a happy breed but among its various health problems, allergies are the most common and persistent ones.
Cocker Spaniel allergies arise due to numerous factors and are of several kinds arising from food, contact, pests, inhalants and other things. Allergies are still relatively simple health problems that can be treated with timely help, good diet, good skin care and medications.
Food allergies, being the most common of the allergies come from a variety of sources. Cocker Spaniel allergies of food normally affect dogs that are two to six years old. The food source could be anything but mostly cockers react to beef, corn, milk and specific preservatives and additives in dog foods that are manufactured commercially. The immune system responds t the food allergens that, through the release of histamines causes the symptoms to appear.
Symptoms relating to food allergies include severe itching on the ears and the feet, resulting in redness, swelling and irritation. The skin feels warm and bumps might be present. In some cases, allergies may also lead to the gastrointestinal tract getting affected with symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting with mucus and blood present in them.
Food allergies should be distinguished from food intolerance, through the help of elimination diets. Food intolerance occurs when the dog becomes sensitive to an ingested food. Symptoms of food intolerance include diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence, dehydration and upset stomach. The elimination diet also helps to identify the problem causing allergen and in this diet, one source of starch and protein are introduced and then gradually other sourced are introduced.
Cocker Spaniel allergies can also be traced to the various materials that the dog comes into contact with, giving way to contact allergies. Some materials cause the body to give negative reactions that are manifested in the form of itching, skin rashes and blisters. Prolonged exposure can lead to skin infections and dry, flaky skin. Such materials actually include materials used in day to day life for example, plastic, wool, sand and other synthetic materials. The same method has to be adopted with contact allergies, where the source must be identified and then removed. These allergies can also be triggered due to pests like fleas and other parasites, leading to parasitic dermatitis. Symptoms include redness and severe itching and can be controlled by using products and medication as advised by the vet.
There are several inhalants that can lead to Cocker Spaniel Allergies as well. These allergens can be caused due to both natural sources including dust mites, pollen, grass, mold and as well as artificial sources including household chemicals, flea products, sprays, perfumes and other such things. These allergens also trigger the immune system to produce histamines which lead to symptoms including sneezing, wheezing, coughing, hot flashes and skin allergies. It depends whether these symptoms are present together or happen in different intervals. Treatments for inhalant allergies include anti-histamines, steroids and vaccination shots for identified allergens.
Cocker Spaniel Allergies are a common phenomenon among these dogs but they can easily be prevented by following a planned diet, regular grooming and keeping the home and environment hazard free and safe for the dog.