Your Morkie can be affected by three main types of allergies:
Inhalants – stuff you breath in – are the most common causes of allergies in small dogs. There are hundreds and hundreds of bits floating through the air by every day. When people have an allergy to something they breath in, they tend to sneeze and cough. A dog’s allergy, however, shows up via his skin and coat.
How do I know if my Morkie is allergic
The #1 sign of inhalant allergy in dogs is scratching, chewing and licking all over. The affected dog is going mad with itch and may also sneeze, wheeze and have watery eyes. He might rub his face or eyes on the ground or carpet or furniture, trying to relieve itchy eyes.
Sometimes an allergic dog will lick his paws so much, they’ll turn a brownish red colour from saliva.
A small dog like a Morkie can seriously damage his coat, which is hair, just by constantly scratching it. My little dog was half bald by the time the treatment kicked in, with patchy growths of hair between bare spots on her little body.
Some of the sources of this kind of allergy include:
- seasonal plants like grass pollen in the spring, or ragweed in the fall
- tree pollen throughout the year
- indoor air quality — someone’s a smoker
- fibres from synthetic carpet
- mold, household dust and mites
- garden or household chemicals
Diagnosis and cure
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s bothering your Morkie when the allergy is caused by something he’s inhaled. Flea allergies or food allergies are much easier to detect. (More about them in the coming days.)
However, your Vet can help you by doing an allergy test. The test can be done in one of two ways; the original test calls for injecting a small amount of the offending stuff just under the dog’s skin (such as grass pollen). If your Morkie exhibits plenty of scratching/licking behaviour, he’s most likely allergic. The trick is, he can be allergic to a number of inhalants at the same time.
The second way to test is more sophisticated and works by taking a little bit of blood from your dog and testing that for a special protein or antibody that’s produced to fight off allergens.
Once the cause has been determined, your dog can undergo a series of allergy shots, which will build up his resistance to the allergen. This will help control his reaction to the offending material. Experts report this works in about half the cases.
What else can be done?
Your Vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or certain omega fatty acids to try and control the itching. Or antibiotics might be necessary.
Frequent bathing with a top quality, certified organic dog shampoo can also help, since some of the allergens your dog’s allergic to, can be absorbed via his skin. Use cool (not cold) water to sooth him.
You can also limit outdoor time in the season when your Morkie seems most affected by allergies.
Wearing a t-shirt can help keep the allergens from landing on his coat and getting absorbed into the skin.
At home, change your furnace filter more often than normal. And wash your Morkie’s bedding in hot water at least once a week. Extra dusting and vacuuming helps too.
For short-term relief, your Vet may recommend an antihistamine like Benadryl for infants.
Take some comfort in the fact that researchers have identified 21 dog breeds that are highly susceptible to allergies, and neither the Maltese nor the Yorkie are on the list, so your Morkie should be less likely to have allergies.