Bernese Mountain Dog Allergies: Symptoms and Solutions

Bernese Mountain Dog Allergies

You know how having a Bernese Mountain dog around can always bring smiles with their friendly and cheerful nature, right? Well, it’s important to remember that these beautiful dogs – like all other breeds – can suffer from allergies that can really throw off their well-being.

Bernese Mountain dogs can get allergies too! Their itches and sneezes can lead to more severe symptoms like swollen faces and ear infections. But, identifying these signs and knowing how to prevent them can definitely make their lives better.

A variety of allergens can trigger allergic reactions in Bernese Mountain dogs, including pollen, grass, food ingredients such as wheat, chicken or soy, medications like penicillin and opiates, and even everyday products like shampoos, perfumes, and latex.

While these reactions are caused by the dog’s immune system responding in a hypersensitive way to external allergens, keeping an eye out for common symptoms and managing the allergies effectively can keep them in check and ensure a happier, healthier dog.


Common Allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dogs, like other breeds, can suffer from different types of allergies. It’s essential to understand the common allergies and their symptoms to effectively manage and treat them. In this section, we’ll discuss Food Allergies and Environmental allergens affecting Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Food Allergies

Food allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs can manifest in various ways, including diarrhea, recurring ear infections, hot spots, and other skin and foot irritations. These allergies often result from an immune system reaction to specific proteins or ingredients in their diet. Common food allergens include:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Dairy products
  • Wheat
  • Soy

To identify and manage food allergies, work with a veterinarian to develop an elimination diet and introduce new foods gradually to pinpoint the allergens.

Environmental Allergens

Environmental allergens can also cause allergy problems for Bernese Mountain Dogs. Some common sources of these allergens include:

  • Dust and dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Insect bites

The long fur of Bernese Mountain Dogs can trap allergens, making them more prone to allergic reactions. Symptoms of environmental allergies may include:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, eyelids, ears, or earmolds
  • Itching in ears, eyes, or nose
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Red, inflamed skin or hives
  • Watery eyes

To help manage environmental allergens, keep the dog’s coat clean and maintain a clean home environment. Consult with a veterinarian to develop a treatment plan that may include medications or supplements to alleviate symptoms and boost the immune system.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

Bernese Mountain Dog Allergy Diagnosis

Bernese Mountain dog allergies can manifest in a variety of ways and it’s important for pet owners to recognize the signs. In this section, we will discuss the physical signs you should look out for and the diagnostic tests that can help confirm allergy issues in your dog.

Physical Signs

  • Swelling: The dog’s face, lips, nose, eyelids, ears, or earmolds might swell due to an allergic reaction.
  • Itching: Your dog may scratch their ears, eyes, or nose if they’re experiencing an allergy.
  • Sneezing and coughing: Sometimes a dog’s sneezing and coughing can be a symptom of an allergic reaction.
  • Digestive issues: Allergies can also manifest through disorders in the digestive tract, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Skin conditions: Hives, facial swelling, and itchiness may indicate a true food allergy.
  • Rashes: Allergic reactions in Bernese Mountain dogs may present as itchy, red skin rashes with itchy pimples on their body and legs. Some might also experience a raised bumpy patch near the ear.

Diagnostic Tests

To accurately diagnose allergy-related issues in your Bernese Mountain dog, your veterinarian may perform several tests. Here are some common diagnostic tests they might use:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test measures the number of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in your dog’s blood. An elevated white blood cell count can indicate an immune response to allergies.
  2. Allergy skin test: Small amounts of potential allergens are injected into your dog’s skin, and your veterinarian observes for any reactions.
  3. Elimination diet: If a food allergy is suspected, your veterinarian may recommend trying a special diet, eliminating specific food ingredients one by one to pinpoint the cause.
  4. Thyroid function test: This test checks for any thyroid issues that may cause allergy-like symptoms, such as hair coat changes and weight gain.

It is crucial as a pet owner to keep an eye on these symptoms and consult with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat any allergy-related issues your Bernese Mountain dog may have.


Treating Allergies

Medication Options

When dealing with allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs, it’s crucial to work with a veterinarian to develop a tailored treatment plan. Some common treatment options include:

  • Antihistamines: These are used to alleviate symptoms by blocking the histamine response in the body. They can help reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Steroids: These can also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and provide relief from severe allergy symptoms.

It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for dosage and duration of use for these medications.

Avoiding Allergens

To minimize the impact allergies have on your Bernese Mountain Dog, consider the following tips:

  • Grooming: Regular grooming, which includes eyebrow trimming, de-shedding, removal of molting hair, nail trimming, and ear-tipping, can help reduce the number of allergens in your dog’s coat. Ideally, you should groom your dog every 6-8 weeks.
  • Allergen-free Environment: Provide an allergen-free space for your dog indoors. Make sure to frequently clean your dog’s bedding and use air purifiers to maintain good indoor air quality.
  • Avoid Outdoor Allergens: Limit exposure to outdoor allergens such as pollen, mold, and grass by taking your dog for walks during low-pollen hours (in the early morning or late evening), and avoid woodsy areas during peak allergy season.
  • Food Allergies: Consult your veterinarian about specific food allergies common in Bernese Mountain Dogs, and take necessary steps to avoid feeding allergen-containing items. Additionally, keep a close eye on ingredients in commercial dog foods for potential allergens.

It is essential to monitor your dog’s symptoms closely and seek veterinary advice to ensure the overall well-being and comfort of your Bernese Mountain Dog.


Prevention and Management

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming is crucial for preventing and managing allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Brushing your dog’s coat at least once a week can help remove allergens like pollen, dust, and dander that may contribute to allergies.

Additionally, cleaning your dog’s ears and trimming their nails can prevent potential infections that may result from excessive itching. If you notice any signs of skin irritation, be sure to consult with your veterinarian for further recommendations.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet plays a significant role in managing allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Feeding your dog a high-quality, hypoallergenic diet can help reduce allergic reactions and inflammation. Some key points to consider when choosing a dog food for your allergic Bernese Mountain Dog include:

  • Avoiding common allergens like chicken, beef, or grains
  • Opt for limited-ingredient diets that have fewer components and are specifically designed for sensitive digestive systems

It’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to develop a tailored diet that suits your dog’s specific needs and helps manage their allergies effectively.

In summary, regular grooming and proper diet are essential in the prevention and management of allergies in Bernese Mountain Dogs. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian for a tailored approach to ensure your dog maintains a healthy and happy life.