Dietary sensitivity

An adverse reaction to food is an abnormal response of the body attributed to some of the substances contained in an ingested food.

This type of reaction is not infrequent in companion animals, and more specifically in dogs. In spite of the great variety of ingested food, the relative frequency of dietary sensitivity is between 1 to 6% for skin reactions and between 10 to 20% for allergic reactions. This is mainly due to the effectiveness of the gastrointestinal mucosal barrier.

If you suspect that your pet has this problem, you should take into consideration the commercial pet food your pet eats daily, the treats, vitamin and mineral supplements, the medicines you give it and even the toys it plays with. Please think that normally your pet does not only have access to its usual food.

The main symptoms that may occur if your pet has an adverse reaction are skin disorders. Some authors think that Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Boxers, Dalmatians and German Shepherds are more likely to develop dietary sensitivity, but other authors do not think that any given breeds are predisposed to this problem.

The appearance of dietary sensitivity is not related to seasonal changes, it may or may not present gastrointestinal symptoms (although they are frequent), and the main symptom, again, is itchy and inflamed skin.

If the dietary sensitivity is due to a severe immune reaction, the symptoms could affect the whole body. It will then, normally, provoke great areas of swelling on the eyelids, lips, ears and conjunctive tissue.

If you suspect any of these problems, consult your usual veterinary surgeon. It will be important for you, as owner to give complete information about your pet’s usual diet, as well as about any other product your pet might have ingested.
With this information and after a final diagnosis, your veterinary surgeon will propose a dietary plan to avoid your pet’s suffering more adverse reactions to food

Did you know...

Most veterinary consultations performed on exotic animals are due to illnesses caused by inadequate care. You should research the biology and the dietary and housing needs of these pets before purchasing them.

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