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Pomeranian Allergies


There are 3 main types of allergies in dogs.

1) Contact allergy - This means a Pomeranian may be allergic to an element outside of his body that he comes into contact with. This can include shampoo, carpet cleaner, laundry detergent that is used to clean his bedding and even the material of his dinner dish.

2) Environmental allergy - This will be an allergic reaction to an element that is inhaled. This includes grasses, weeds and pollen. These elements - while having a high count outside - may also be found inside the home. This happens via normal air transfer but also pollen and other triggers can be tracked into the home after a dog has been outside. 
3) Food allergy - While this is called a food allergy, many toy breeds including the Pomeranian more often than not are allergic to a food additive. This includes artificial coloring, preservatives and other chemicals that can be found in manufactured dog food.
* Other - In some cases, a dog can have a dangerous allergic reaction to bees, wasps and other stinging insects. While some reactions can be mild and treated with baking soda for the pain and Benedryl for mild reactions, a Pomeranian that is allergic could go into anaphylactic shock. Read more about: What to Do if a Pomeranian is Stung by a Bee.
Signs & Symptoms of Allergies with Pomeranians

The signs of an allergic reaction can be tricky since it can manifest in so many different ways. The top symptoms will be:
  • Itching - All 3 types of allergy problems can cause moderate to severe itching. This in turn leads to some of the other signs.
  • Irritated skin - This can appear as a rash of itchy bumps or larger spots often referred to as 'hot spots'. The skin may be pink or red.  Hair may thin in those areas. If a Pomeranian chews on that area or licks at it compulsively, the skin may break open which leaves it vulnerable to infection.
  • Hair loss - Since the coat depends on healthy skin, chronic allergies can cause a Pom's coat to thin out.
  • Watery eyes / discharge- This is most common with contact or inhaled allergies. Eyes may have a watery discharge of varying thickness.  For some Pomeranians, eye discharge will be thick, often accumulating at night with the puppy or dog waking up with 'eye gook' that can appear crusted.
  • Red, bloodshot eyes - Along with the discharge above, eyes may visibly appear to be red and irritated. While this can happen due to a scratch or other acute issue, ongoing chronic bloodshot eyes is a common symptoms of allergies. 
  • Nasal discharge - While this is not as common as many of the other signs, it does happen to some Pomeranians, particularly those with seasonal allergies.
  • Changes in bowel movements - Mainly seen with food allergies, there will be a disturbance in the intestinal tract which can cause loose or runny stools.
  • Upset stomach - As with runny stools, having an upset stomach - with or without vomiting- often points to the Pom having an allergic reaction to something that he ingested.
  • Breathing issues - This can include shortness of breath and wheezing. This may appear to be worse on high pollen count days if the Pom has seasonal allergies but if enough air pollutants enter the house and are not filtered out, it may be around-the-clock.
Diagnosing Allergies

When allergies are ongoing, it is best to have an experienced and reputable veterinarian run tests to see if the triggers(s) can be identified. Some Pomeranians are allergic to more than one element and knowing exactly what bothers your Pom can - of course- help you remove or limit the exposure to the triggers. 

Blood testing and skin allergy testing can be performed. Do keep in mind that these test are not always accurate and do not test for every known trigger; they test for the most common allergens that canines suffer from. 

Diagnosing Food Allergies at Home

If you highly suspect that your Pomeranian is allergic to something in his food, it is recommended to use an approach that is similar to when a dog has an upset stomach. These elements are often found in brightly colored snacks as well, so it's best to look at the whole diet including treats and not just meals when you are looking for food allergies.  The goal is to give the dog's body a rest and allow the symptoms to fade before testing to see what is causing the reaction. 

A very bland diet of only white chicken meat (no skin, no bones) and either white rice or sweet potato is given for 2 weeks. There should be no seasoning or additions of any kind other than a dash of salt. Once 2 weeks has passed, allergy symptoms should be gone.  It is at this time that 1 new food ingredient can be added.  Two weeks should pass with that new food being ingested to see if it triggers any allergic reaction.  A new food is mixed in every 2 weeks in this manner to try and identity the trigger. 

Many owners find that their Pom does well with all of the wholesome foods and this then lends itself to the theory that it was indeed a chemical (coloring, preservative, artificial flavoring, etc.) that caused the issue.  At this point, one may wish to keep the Pomeranian on a home cooked diet to eliminate any future changes of food allergy problems.

If so, be sure to offer crunchy, healthy dental treats as snacks to keep teeth clean, strong and healthy. 
Treatment for Allergies

The veterinarian can treat your Pomeranian with a variety of medication that will control allergy symptoms while the culprit is being identified. This includes:
  • Antihistamines - This includes Benadryl, however owners should not give their Pomeranian doses of this at home without first speaking with the vet for proper dosing and use.
  • Corticosteroids - These are given for short term use to help with moderate to severe cases of itching and swelling
  • Topical treatments - This is often given to dogs that are having bad skin reactions to the allergen.
  • Eye drops - To help clear up any bloodshot eye problems
  • Antibiotics - This will be given if any skin sores have cracked open and may have developed an infection.
Allergy shot treatment for Pomeranians - If it has been determined that a dog is allergic to certain elements in the environment that cannot be controlled by the owner, this treatment can often offer relief to a Pom that is suffering.  Essentially, very small doses of the allergen(s) are injected into the dog over a long period of time. This allows the body to build up a natural tolerance, and in turn many dogs are allergy free once the course is done. 
Pomeranian with toy in mouth
Helping to Control Allergies at Home

For inhaled / airborne allergies:

There are many things that owners can do to help clean up the Pomeranian's environment and to limit exposure to elements that may be triggering an allergic reaction. This includes:

1) On high pollen count days (you can find this information on weather reports), switch out the morning walk for an afternoon or late evening walk, since morning is the worst time. On severe high pollen count days, you may wish to skip the walk all together and provide indoor exercise.
2) Before you bring your Pomeranian back into the house, wash off his paws. During warm weather this can be done with a garden hose. On cooler days, you may wish to carry him to the sink or wipe down the paws (and lower legs) with canine wipes. 

3) Do not keep windows open; it's better to run ceiling fans to have air flow.

4) Do run your AC or central air conditioning unit. You'll want to make sure that the filters are HEPA certified of the highest class possible. This will trap very small microbes that would otherwise remain in the air.

5) Vacuum the house on a regular basis using HEPA filtered vacuum machines. This will pull out and trap both allergen particles on the floor and in the air.  Use the attachment to go over curtains and furniture. 

For contact allergies:

1) Use a hypoallergenic laundry detergent to wash all bedding, clothing (all human's and your Pom's if he has any), washable pillows, your Pomeranian's bed cushion covers, blankets and pillowcases, etc. 

2) Take note of any certain stuffed toys that you may suspect are causing the allergy; we know of a Pom that had troubling allergy symptoms for months and as soon as a certain stuffed toy was removed, his issues cleared right up.

3) Never use plastic bowls for food or water.  Stainless steel bowls are best and ceramic is another alternative.  Not only can a Pomeranian be allergic to the plastic, heavy colored bowls can also cause staining to the facial fur. 

4) Stop using any carpet cleaner powder - your HEPA vacuum (as discussed above) will be all that is needed.

5) Reassess the all of your Pomeranian's grooming products. Often inexpensive shampoos, conditioners and leave-in products can be the cause of allergies and skin reactions. Quality shampoo and other bath products will not only relieve any problems, they will improve your Pom's skin and coat health.  

6) A Pom have have a sensitivity to lawn care chemicals and if so, symptoms such as itchy skin may occur only on the paws, legs and tummy (if the grass reaches the dog's underbelly). If you suspect this, keep him off any lawns that may be treated with weed killers or other treatments.
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