What is an allergy?
An allergy happens when the body has a negative reaction to substances that are not normally considered harmful. It’s the body trying to protect itself from something that it considers detrimental.
There are several different types of allergies: food, contact, inhalant and systemic. The most common type in a dog is a food allergy. Food allergies can cause skin problems or belly/intestinal issues among other things depending on what part of the body is affected by the allergic reaction which means you may see itching, ear problems, hot spots and even vomiting! In addition to food allergies, Dogs can be born with a predisposition for certain allergies because of their breed or they can develop them later in life due to environmental factors such as being exposed to certain chemicals or to other pets.
Yorkies are prone to allergies just like any other breed of dog, but they’re often food allergies.
What causes Yorkies to have allergic reactions? There are different opinions on this topic, but most behaviourists and trainers agree that it’s due to overfeeding your Yorkie. It’s the equivalent of humans eating too much fast food instead of home cooked meals; overfeeding can cause lethargy, weight gain and even irritability which could lead to behavioral problems (acting out) because the dog is tired or stressed for some reason.
The other reasons include: not enough exercise or physical activity, certain parasites (such as fleas), pollen, grasses and weeds among others. Some people also believe that not giving the proper nutrients at early stages of development can also cause allergies later on.
The Yorkie is a purebred dog, so it’s more prone to have allergies than mixed breed dogs are. It’s common to see allergies manifest themselves in Yorkies because they don’t usually eat too much (most will only eat as much as they need) and they may miss out on certain nutrients due to this; this makes them more prone to having an allergic reaction.
What does my Yorkie do when he/she has an allergic reaction?
There are several types of reactions caused by allergies: hot spots (when the dog scratches excessively creating open wounds), ear infections (due to yeast or bacteria), rashes (usually due to contact with chemicals, such as pesticides), itchy skin (dry and flaky) and constant licking. Some of these symptoms can be treated at home; others may need to see a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
There are other types of allergies that cause the dog’s ears to get itchy and produce a lot of wax. The vet will prescribe ointments and drops to put in your Yorkie’s ears so you might have to give him/her baths every now and then too. If you don’t treat the problem right away, the infection will keep getting worse because even though the dog is trying to clear his/her own ears out by shaking their head or scratching them, he/she just keeps making the situation worse because the dirt and wax gets mixed in with the blood and will continue to cause inflammation and build up which could lead to a ruptured ear drum.
How do I know if my Yorkie is having an allergic reaction?
You’ll usually see your Yorkie scratching or chewing at random areas of his/her body; it’s common for them to lick their paws too, especially after waking up from a nap (they lick themselves clean). The skin will change color due to scratching; this happens when the skin starts healing itself, only instead of forming new skin cells, they form scar tissue. If you keep seeing these symptoms without any other reason why it’s happening (no fleas or parasites) then you should take your dog to the vet to have him/her checked for allergies.
Food Allergies An allergic reaction happens when the body’s immune system responds to a certain food with an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE); this causes certain cells in the skin, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract to release chemicals that will cause itching, redness or inflammation of different parts of the body.
Food Allergy Symptoms The symptoms may vary depending on which part of the dog’s body is affected by an allergy, but some common ones are:
- – Dry flaky skin
- – Itchy ears
- – Excessive scratching
- – Hot spots
- – Rashes
- – Dark colored skin patches
- – Bacterial & yeast infections
- – Yeasty ears
Food Allergy Treatment Treatment begins with identifying which food is causing an allergic reaction in the dog. Your Yorkie will have to go through several tests, including skin and blood exams: if there’s no obvious cause of his/her symptoms (like parasites or bacteria), only then will your vet conclude that your Yorkie has a food allergy; most vets do this by eliminating certain foods from their diets and watching the progress. Vets usually prescribe steroid shots for more severe cases of food allergies; this is usually given once a week until you notice an improvement.
Foods to Avoid For any type of allergy (and especially food allergies), it’s important to know which foods to avoid and how much of them is safe. Some common dog food ingredients that can cause severe reactions are:
- – Chicken
- – Corn
- – Wheat
If your Yorkie has a mild reaction caused by certain foods, you might want to switch him/her over to a prescription diet instead of the regular store bought brands; these are made specifically for dogs with allergies or other health problems where they need special food until their symptoms subside. Although it might be unavoidable, if your Yorkie continues having allergic reactions eat only two meals per day (instead of 3) so his/her body will have time to rest between feedings.