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Beagle Allergies


Humans have indoor or outdoor allergies...Beagles are quite similar as they can have seasonal allergies or food intolerance. In addition, dogs can suffer from contact allergies in which the trigger will be an element that comes into contact with the body and sets off a reaction. 

Unlike us, when a Beagle dog is suffering from allergies, symptoms can be baffling. They will not just sneeze as we do.

The symptoms can range from mild to quite severe. This can affect everything from breathing to skin and fur. 
Some dogs this can be a seasonal issue; this can be during the spring and summer as certain grasses and pollen grow or during the wintertime when there are higher incidences of dust mites and other contaminants that are easily trapped in closed off houses. 

For others, allergies can be a year-round problem until proper treatment is found. 

It is important to take notice of the signs of this and then an owner can determine which type of allergy their Beagle has and work toward resolving the issue.  

Over 20% of dogs have allergy health conditions; unfortunately many are not given relief due to misdiagnosis or dismissal of symptoms by the owner. 

When a Beagle has allergies, the symptoms can be misleading. Signs will be different depending on if the dog has internal or external allergies.  In addition, allergy symptoms can cross over. For example, itching is a sign for both internal and external triggers.

You will want to take notice if your Beagle:
  • Has a Loss of Fur - This is usually in patches where the coat will either thin out or in severe cases, completely fall out in areas.
  • Dry, Itchy Skin - You may notice dry skin on your dog on its belly, however in most cases it is the skin under the coat which itches. The Beagle will scratch or lick compulsively to relieve his discomfort.
  • Ear Inflammations - While this can be a sign of a canine ear infections, dogs that are allergic to something may also have ear problems.
  • Chewing on Self - This is a reaction to the above itching sensation and a Beagle may actually chew the fur right off of his coat if the allergy persists and is severe.
  • A Dulling of the Coat - This health condition can cause affects all over the dog's body, including a dulling of the coat, you may notice that it is not as shiny as usual and/or appears to be very coarse.
  • Upset Stomach- Most commonly a sign of an internal allergy, a Beagle will show that he or she has an upset stomach by eating less, vomiting, dry heaving, diarrhea, or not wanting to run around as usual.
  • Excessive Eye Discharge - This is not often shown on dog allergy symptom lists; however this can be a clear sign of an allergy, most often with an external type.
  • Coughing - While many canine health issues can cause a dog to cough, Kennel Cough, Dog Flu and Upper Respiratory Infection being among them, this can also be a sign that the Beagle has allergies.
  • Shortness of Breath - This can happen when exercising or even when at rest.
  • Wheezing Noises - As the lungs and nasal passages fill up, this can cause a wheezing sound, similar to asthma.
Internal Allergies

When a dog has internal allergies, this means that he or she is having a reaction to something that was ingested. The most common element being a chemical additive to a commercial dog food or manufactured snack. This includes artificial coloring, preservatives or chemical flavoring. A smaller number of Beagles will have intolerance for an actual food ingredient. Dogs can be allergic to anything from milk products to wheat. 

Eating the ingredient each day causes a never-ending reaction, most commonly an upset stomach. (vomiting and/or diarrhea) This, in turn, often leads to weight loss and will then lead to serious health issues if not addressed.

Treatment When a Beagle is Allergic to a Food Ingredient

It is of course, recommended to have this confirmed with your Beagle's veterinarian. Once confirmed, action can be immediately taken. Once must identify the trigger. This can be done by home cooking for your dog and adding 1 ingredient every 3 weeks. It's important to not rush this process, since it can take the body weeks to recover from a moderate to severe allergic reaction. 

You can begin with plain, de-boned, boiled chicken with either white rice or sweet potatoes. Only add a dash of salt and no other seasonings. To clear your Beagle's system, it is suggested to feed bland diet for 3 weeks. After this time, you may add an ingredient. Every 3 weeks, add 1 more ingredient. If you notice symptoms returning, you have found the food that your Beagle is allergic to. 

Some good choices that most dogs are not allergic to are: Fish, rice (if not given already), potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas, egg (and the shell too if you finely crush it into a sand-like consistency), blueberry, raspberry, mango, banana,  whole white yogurt and cottage cheese.  Remember that dogs are omnivores and need both meat protein and plenty of vegetables, fruit and starch carbs. 

If the Beagle has worked up to a wide range of foods and is doing well, this often points to a sensitivity in the chemicals that are added commercial brands.  If he shows any signs that a certain food is not tolerated, this should be removed from his diet. At this point, you can continue to home cook meals without that ingredient of course, or to purchase dog food that does not contain it.

If you are looking for excellent home made recipes for your Beagle, to offer great, healthy food without possible allergies, learn more about home cooking for a Beagle.

Tip: The 4 most common food allergies are to: soy, wheat, corn and turkey. 
Contact and Inhaled Allergies

When a Beagle has external allergies this is a reaction to an element that the dog has contact with. These can include:
  • Fleas - It is amazing how just 1 flea can cause such havoc to a Beagle
  • Dog shampoo and grooming solutions - This is the #1 cause
  • Home Products - This can range from the laundry detergent that you use, the carpet cleaner, the air freshener and so much more. 
A dog can also have a reaction to elements which are inhaled, such as:
  • Ragweed, grasses and tree pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • 2nd hand smoke
As shown above symptoms can include eye discharge, itching, loss of coat, red eyes, nasal discharge, wheezing other signs that the body is having a reaction to a trigger.  For Beagles, elbows can become especially dry. 

2nd hand smoke can cause coughing, wheezing, and breathing problems. Inexpensive canine shampoo with cheap ingredients can cause ear problems and coat issues. 


Treatment includes several options, depending on what signs your Beagle is showing: 

Symptomatic Therapy - This is direct treatment for the symptoms while the trigger for what is causing them is being discovered. Cool baths with colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts, or medicated shampoos helps to relieve dry, itchy, sore skin. This can be done frequently but provides only temporary relief. 

Immunotherapy - This is the term used to describe allergy shots, a slow & steady process in which the Beagle is exposed to the trigger. 
This option can take quite a while. On average, it will be 6 to 12 months to see major improvement. Success rate is 75%. 

Corticosteroids - These topical medications help to reduce swelling and itching. Unfortunately, they also affect every organ in the body. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short (for example if your Beagle is allergic to ragweed), the amount of medication required is small or as a last resort to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort. Side effects can include:
  • Increased thirst and appetite
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Behavioral changes
Long term use can result in:
  • Diabetes
  • Decreased resistance to infection
Antihistamines - This type of medication is safe for just about any dog. The only negative side effect is drowsiness. In many cases, more than 1 type must be tried before finding the one that helps for a certain Beagle. 

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids - These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory agents. They have no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils (especially krill and cod) and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), such as oil from the evening primrose. These supplements are different from those sold to produce a glossy coat. 
Beagle outside on a tractor
Ginger, 4 months old
Photo courtesy of owners: Tom & Melissa G.
Environmental Control - If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control. Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. With seasonal allergies, limit walks to times when pollen counts are lower and use HEPA filters in any air conditioners or central air units to reduce airborne allergens as the air is being circulated. 

Using a HEPA certified vacuum cleaner traps tiny spores from not only the flooring but from the inside air as well. This also helps in regard to dust mite issues. 

Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your house plants.

Those who smoke should do so only outside or in a room that is clearly separated from the home, such as the garage.
Related: Beagle Stung by Bee - How to react if your Beagle is stung by a bee, wasp or other venomous insect, signs of allergic reaction or toxic buildup. And prevention tips. 
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