Allergies have the potential to wreak havoc on how your Siberian husky looks, feels, and acts, leaving them a shadow of their former selves. Fleas, pollen, mold spores, and many other particles floating through the environment can all trigger the development of husky allergies. Food is another major culprit, often triggering a reaction after months to years without a problem. That's why so many dog owners find insect based dog food helps with their husky allergies.
So, when Siberian husky allergies become an issue, it’s wise to get help from a vet, and then start changing things up in hopes of eliminating the triggers. To do that effectively, you first need to know all about allergies in huskies and possible ways to help them find relief from their symptoms.
Most Common Allergies in Huskies – and Their Causes
Like most dogs, Siberian huskies are at risk of developing allergies to food and environmental triggers, like:
- Mold spores
Even animal dander can cause problems in sensitive individuals.
Yup, you read that right.
Your dog could be allergic to your cat, resulting in minor to severe symptoms when they’re together.
Flea allergies commonly arise in huskies, especially after a severe infestation occurs. Also known as flea bite dermatitis, this condition causes reactions to occur with just a single bite. Bees, spiders, ticks, and other biting insects can also trigger allergies in dogs, potentially resulting in a serious reaction.
As far as food allergies go, it's usually the proteins causing all the problems. Although it’s often seen as a safe source of protein, chicken causes allergic reactions more often than lamb, beef, and other meats. Even fish can prove problematic if your Siberian husky simply cannot tolerate ingesting that protein. Other common dog food ingredients that cause allergies include dairy products, gluten, and soy.
Signs That Your Husky Has Allergies
Once an allergy develops, a reaction occurs after direct exposure to the trigger in question. The severity of the reaction varies according to your dog’s overall sensitivity to the trigger and the exposure levels.
An anaphylactic reaction is possible after the first exposure as the immune system overreacts to the triggering substance. When that happens, you might notice the sudden appearance of hives on the skin, drooling, swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs experiencing a severe allergic reaction need to see a vet immediately as it could prove life-threatening.
In most cases, however, dogs have a milder reaction to allergens, resulting in symptoms like:
- Eye and nose discharge
- Red, smelly ears
- Stomach upset
The itchiness can occur anywhere on your dog’s body, but it’s most common around their ears, face, paws, hind legs, and stomach.
As they scratch, hot spots will develop, and then quickly lead to hair loss. Secondary infections are a common result as well, especially if your dog’s scratching doesn’t allow the hot spots to heal.
What Allergies are Huskies Most Likely to Develop?
Food allergies are most likely to affect Siberian huskies, causing intense itching that puts their beautiful coat at risk. Although chicken and beef cause reactions most, milk, eggs, and corn often leave huskies scratching away as well.
As you explore food as a possible cause of the itching, remember that zinc deficiencies often cause similar symptoms in Siberian huskies. Supplements can help resolve the problem, although it’s best to switch foods as well to help your dog feel better faster.
How to Relieve Your Husky’s Allergies
A vet visit is the first course of action to take when your Siberian husky develops allergy symptoms. They will perform key diagnostic tests, like blood and saliva tests, designed to confirm the allergy and rule out other causes. They will also guide you on how to perform elimination trials that remove potential triggers, so you can see what stops the reactions.
During the elimination trials, you’ll need to switch your dog to a hypoallergenic food, like Jiminy’s Cricket Crave or Good Grub dog food. You should also skip the regular treats for a while. Continue to feed the hypoallergenic food for 8 to 12 weeks while carefully noting your dog’s symptoms each day. If their food was the problem, then you’ll likely see them itching less and less, resulting in the regrowth of their coat.
After that, you have the choice to continue feeding the hypoallergenic food and consider the problem solved. Or you can decide to reintroduce potentially triggering ingredients one by one to find the exact cause of your dog’s allergies.
Your vet may also provide prescription medications, shampoos, eye drops, ear cleaning products, and other treatments to help resolve your husky’s symptoms. They may also suggest using probiotics designed to help improve husky gut health. You’ll need to return for regular checkups until your dog makes a full recovery, so your vet can assess their progress and make changes as needed.
With your support, it’s possible for your Siberian husky to live without serious allergy symptoms. Although the problem might take a lot of time and effort to resolve, it’s well worth making sure that your furry friend can live their best life.