The Australian shepherd is a friendly, loving, loyal, and high energy dog breed. Its playful and loving nature makes it one of the best dog breeds for families. Apart from this, Aussies are also very intelligent. The benefit of getting an intelligent dog is you will have less stressful training. The high intelligence level in Aussies means they are easier to train as compared to any low intelligence level dog breed. If you want your dog to get trained faster and learn all your commands, Aussie is the best choice.
Although this breed is very affectionate, loving, loyal, intelligent, and it has everything that any family person needs, however, the Aussie breed may be prone to skin allergies. A skin allergy can make the Aussie uncomfortable and it does require regular visits to the vet.
Australian Shepherds have a thick and medium-length coat. Their coat is weather resistant. It is in such a manner to keep them warm during the winter season. Aussies living in temperate climates have thinner coats, which may affect the skin health of the dog. This could be one of the reasons behind skin allergies.
First, if we talk about skin problems in Aussies, they are of three types. It could be allergic, infectious, or disease-related.
Australian Shepherd Allergies
Australian shepherds can have different types of allergies. Here are some allergy symptoms in Aussies:
- Frequent sneezing
- Intense itching or scratching
- Periodic chewing on the same or different parts of the body
- Skin irritation
- Fur loss
- Runny eyes
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids or earflaps
- Red inflamed skin
- Chronic ear infections
- Constant licking
What health problems are Australian Shepherds prone to?
Mostly, Australian shepherds are healthy. However, they are also likely to certain health conditions. The thing which plays a significant role in keeping the Aussie dog healthy and fit is proper care. Apart from a skin allergy, they are also prone to other health conditions. It is advisable to get the dog from a reputable breeder so that you can get a healthy and fit dog.
Providing nutritious food and taking proper care of the Aussie can ensure that your Aussie will be fit and will not have any health issues. However, many Aussies get health issues even after getting high-quality, nutritious food and intense regular physical activities. Aussies are prone to the following health conditions:
- Hip dysplasia
- Collie Eye Anomaly
- Tumors and Cancers
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Persistent Pupillary Membranes
- Nasal Solar Dermatitis
The health conditions we have listed above, some cause due to the dog genetic. Hip dysplasia is an example of a health issue in Australian shepherds that cause due to genetics.
If you are planning to get a new Australian shepherd, make sure to pick the right breeder. A reputable breeder may charge you a bit more money, but the good thing is the breeder will have all the health records of the dog. This will give you an idea of whether the dog has any health issues or not. And, before getting the dog to your home, getting your Aussie health checked is advisable.
Australian Shepherd Skin Allergies
Australian shepherd allergies major sign is intense itching. When you find your Aussie itching all over his body. It also includes hair loss. This type of allergic reaction is known as flea allergy dermatitis. If you find redness and small bumps on the body of your Australian shepherd, it is the sign of skin allergy.
Aussies are prone to skin allergies. Skin allergies in Aussies are seen mainly due to genetic. Apart from dog genes, some other reasons due to which Aussies suffer from skin allergies are their upbringing, general exposure, exposure to allergens, etc.
When you see any allergy symptoms in your Australian shepherd, it is advisable to take him to your vet. When the allergies are not given proper attention, they can create problems. In skin allergies, your dog will do intense itching, biting, rubbing, and scratching on his body. When you don’t give proper attention, it can cause serious damage to the dog’s skin. And sometimes, it also leads to skin infections.
As a responsible dog owner, when you see any skin allergy symptom in your Aussie, it’s better to take him to the vet. Your vet will tell you what type of skin problem your dog has and what you can do to solve that.
Causes of Skin Allergies in Aussies
Australian shepherds dogs are prone to skin allergies. This dog breed can develop skin allergy around 1 to 2 years of age. However, skin allergies in Aussies are also found after 2 years of the dog’s age.
Apart from skin allergies, Aussies can get other types of allergies as well such as sneezing fits. There are various causes of skin allergies in Aussies. It could be due to dust mites, pollens, fleas, or foods in the environment. Depending on the type of allergy, if it is caused due to allergens in the air, it may start at the age of 1-2 years. And, if it is caused due to food, it can start earlier.
Here are some common types of allergies in Australian shepherds:
- Contact allergies
- Flea allergies
- Food allergies
- Inhalant allergies
These are common allergy types. You may find any of these allergies in your Australian shepherd dog. If we talk about contact allergies, they include grass, plants, dust mites, pollen. Flea allergies are when the allergy causes due to the flea bites. Food allergies in Aussies are when the allergy causes due to different types of proteins. And, molds include basement exposure.
The solution for different types of skin allergies will differ. For example, if the Australian shepherd has a certain type of food allergy, all you can do is to avoid the intake of that food. You need to make sure your dog does not consume that food.
Why is my Australian Shepherd itching so much?
Itching is the sign that your Australian shepherd is having a skin allergy. Due to allergy, we humans sneeze and wheeze, while dogs itch. An Aussie with some allergy may constantly itch. Now, is it a good idea to keep your dog itch his body?
The answer is no. When the Aussie constantly scratches, itches, rubs, and bits his body, the chances are he may damage his skin. Due to excessive itching and scratching, the chances of causing a secondary disease increases. It may lead to problems like bacterial and yeast infections.
Australian Shepherd Skin Allergies Treatment
As we have seen, the skin allergy in an Australian shepherd can be a severe problem. First of all, you need to treat the secondary bacterial and yeast infection in your Australian shepherd. As we have already discussed, the secondary bacterial and yeast infections in dogs happen after excess scratching, biting, rubbing, and itching. Your vet can help you prevent this problem.
Coming to skin allergy in the Aussie, there are different things you can do for treating it. After discussing with your vet, you can provide supplements or medications to your Aussie to get rid of skin allergy. The use of special shampoos can also get rid of itching and scratching in your Aussie. The use of shampoos with ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and hydrocortisone can help to relieve the itching.
Providing medications like topical antibiotic ointments, over the counter antihistamines, prescribed steroids, etc. can play a significant role in controlling the skin allergies in your Australian shepherd.
If the skin allergy is caused due to the food, making the changes in your dog’s regular food intake can also reduce the itching. Fatty acid supplements or food containing fatty acid, for example, fish oil, can be helpful.
In case of food allergy, what you can do is feed a wholly new and pure food to the Aussie for at least eight weeks. The food can be commercially produced or handmade. Serve your dog the food with a single source of animal protein and protein from other sources.
By providing a completely new and pure food for at least eight weeks, you will get an idea of whether it is becoming effective or not.
Note that before doing any treatment on your Australian shepherd, it is better to consult with the veterinarian. Taking your dog to the vet for a checkup will help vet better understand the skin allergy issue in your dog.
Australian shepherds are prone to skin allergies, as well as other health conditions. Depending on the allergy, it could be genetic or caused in different ways. Some common types of allergies in Australian shepherds are contact allergies, flea allergies, food allergies, inhalant allergies, molds.
To ensure the safety of your Aussie, it is recommended to take him to the vet when you find any symptom of skin allergy. Your dog may have skin allergy when he is scratching, biting, itching, and rubbing his skin. When the proper attention is not given, it may lead to secondary bacterial and yeast infection in your Australian shepherd