Your Shihtzu is scratching himself, sometimes to the point of bleeding, repeated ear infections, scabs on the skin, etc. etc. Shihtzu allergies show symptoms that do not lie, your canine friend is undoubtedly a victim of allergens.
Okay, but what is he allergic to? This is the question that this article will answer, in which you will also find concrete tips for ending their annoying symptoms.
Shihtzu allergies: is there really a predisposition?
Allergy to mites, pollens, tall grass, croquettes, meats, cereals … The consumer does not know where to turn to help his dog and for good reason. You will realize that a lot of things are said, even by some specialists, that make too little sense and will not actually help your dog to heal.
For example, if your dog suddenly sneezes and can’t stop, he may be exposed to mite or poleen.
So hang in there until the end because the following will certainly change the life of your Shihtzu.
A racial predisposition to dog allergies?
We often hear that certain dog breeds have a predisposition to skin allergies, which in these cases is called “dog atopy” or “atopic dermatitis”. Over the years, the list has only grown, to extend to all breeds of dogs, which are now hit hard by these allergies, and this at all ages. Shihtzus are no exception.
This racial predisposition is in fact only assumed and has never been scientifically proven. Today, therefore, we can no longer speak of “dog atopy”, but rather dermatitis, by which all our companions are unfortunately concerned.
Shihtzu allergies: Ineffective treatments, from or an erroneous diagnosis
Faced with a dermatitis, we will often blame it on allergies to mites or fleas. It’s a strange assumption, considering it is used in cases where they are not found in your environment!
This diagnosis will subsequently lead many Shihtzu owners to undergo various treatments, at certain costs. Environmental treatment, desensitization, corticosteroids, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, the beneficial effects of which can quickly be felt but which often disappear as quickly as they came!
In fact, as soon as the treatment is stopped, all the concerns of Shihtzu allergies return at a gallop on the poor dog.
Why then do we continue to make this diagnosis?
Is it due to a lack of precedents, hindsight, tests? The rate of dogs affected by a dust mite allergy is estimated at 10 to 15%, but is it really to dust mites that they are allergic to even though they are often not present and the treatments ineffective?
The solution lies in a return to a diet that is closer to the dog’s natural physiology.
Dog food allergies: the main real cause?
It’s a safe bet that any dust mites, fleas or tall grass are in fact just the straw that breaks the camel’s back in dog allergy. Are these allergies actually due to a totally different factor? The diet of your Shihtzu perhaps?
Understand the origin of dog skin problems
We tend to explain that the skin is a receptacle for allergens, which cause irritation, redness and itching. But, if you take a closer look at how the dog’s skin works, you can see the problem in a whole new light.
The skin is what is called an emunctory, it is a system that eliminates toxic or irritating waste contained in the body. To put it more simply, any toxic element that is found in the interior of the dog’s body, which hinders the proper functioning of his body, ends up coming out of the body in one way or another, particularly by the skin, to free it.
If a dog’s intestinal health is good, the intestinal wall normally acts as a barrier between the inside and the outside of his body. On the contrary, when the dog’s digestive system is not functioning well, is irritated or disturbed, certain elements will pass this barrier when they should not.
They then become toxic for the organism and the emunctory functions (liver, kidney, skin and lung) will have to be activated and in particular that of the skin. As a result, toxins and other wastes that are released through the skin are causing all the symptoms of Shihtzu allergies.
The skin becomes very sensitive and reacts to the slightest exposure such as tall grass, flea, mites, stress, etc. Everything lights up, right? This is why the various drug treatments recommended only work in the short term, the time of treatment only. Once stopped, the allergy systematically starts up again. They are not a long-term solution, by all means.
Food: the very common cause of dog allergies
We are indeed seeing that dogs are very often victims of “food allergies”, and not allergies to mites or fleas or tall grass as is still often diagnosed unfortunately. The poor quality of food offered and certain dangerous modes of feeding dogs are causing these allergies.
The Shihtzu’s sensitivity to mites and other parasites is actually adding to the food allergy. The dog’s skin is already weakened, as well as his immune system, and it becomes easy for him to contract a sensitivity to other allergens.
How to treat Shihtzu allergies?
As is often the case with dog pathologies, food is the key to rapid and total recovery. This is what life has taught us and in recent years we have seen hundreds of dogs heal from a variety of ailments including skin problems, dermatitis and chronic allergies in dogs. Here are some simple tips for dealing with your Shihtzu’s allergic dermatitis problems.
Stop focusing only on dog allergy symptoms
When we give corticosteroids or anti-inflammatory drugs to the animal that suffers from dermatitis, we focus on the symptoms of the dog’s allergy. But, by wanting to to do well, it unfortunately causes other health concerns.
As we have seen, the failure to address a food allergy in dogs, by the very origin of the problem, can lead to the development of a sensitivity to other allergens. But there are also other consequences to the use of drugs for dermatitis:
A real dependence on treatment
This is characterized by a general collapse of the immune system, which can no longer defend itself properly.
Cushing’s syndrome, a disease affecting the adrenal glands
To treat allergic dermatitis in dogs, we must really treat the root of the problem, which is to eliminate the allergens and toxic elements present in his diet.
Improve the quality of your Shihtzu’s diet
To do this, two elements are crucial, and will help your canine companion to permanently get rid of his allergies.
On the one hand, you need to choose a diet high in protein. In cases of severe dermatitis, it is recommended to include a portion of raw meat in his daily ration, which will provide him with good nutrients to restart his immune system, which will then defend itself as well as possible against allergens.
But be careful with the quality of the proteins you provide, focus on animal proteins, made from meats for human consumption. Cooking them is also essential. Only those cooked at low temperature will retain all their natural benefits.
On the other hand, it is absolutely essential to eliminate all sources of fruits and vegetables from your dog’s diet today. It is unfortunately found more and more in dog food, but also in dietary fashions that want the dog to become omnivorous in contact with humans.
However, fruits like vegetables are indigestible for dogs and are often the cause of their allergic dermatitis. Some are even highly toxic.
By following these two simple tips, many owners have already managed to improve the health of their companion and put dog allergies behind them for good. But beware, sometimes a change in diet is not enough. If your Shihtzu has a superinfection such as yeast, bacteria or fungus, you will then need to see your veterinarian to do a test by a scratching of damaged areas of the skin to determine which superinfection we are talking about.
Thus it can be treated more effectively and the quality food will ensure that there is no recurrence. Note that in many cases the microscopic analysis may be negative at first, which is why it is strongly recommended to do a culture for three weeks.
Premium quality food: the solution to Shihtzu allergies
Dog owners must invest in a quality diet program for their dog. If you do not want to consider raw meat and cook high protein food for your dog, then consider premium veterinary food. It is much more expensive but will prevent so many problems down the road and most certainly costly vet bills. Above all, these nasty allergy symptoms will be quickly forgotten.