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Allergies

Maltipoo Allergies

Overview

Many dogs with allergies are mistakenly diagnosed with an illness, such as a respiratory infection. This is because the the symptoms of an allergic reaction may be very similar to an illness. Also, when Maltipoo dogs have allergies, the symptoms can seem so baffling if you do not know what the signs are.

We will discuss both internal and external symptoms to better help you diagnose what may be happening to your dog and help you know if your Maltipoo is having an allergic reaction.

In addition, we will discuss the importance of understanding that a human can be allergic to Maltipoo dogs, despite what is commonly misunderstood. 
Overview of Symptoms

The symptoms that Maltipoo dogs can have will depend on whether they are suffering from an internal allergy or having an external allergic reaction.

Internal dog allergies means that the trigger causing symptoms is something that the dog has ingested. External dog allergies means that the trigger causing the reactions are from outside elements...This will be something that your Maltipoo touched or inhaled. This is also known as canine contact allergies.

Once you identify the type of allergy your dog has, you can then narrow down the triggers and ultimately remove them. In just about all cases, once an owner eliminates the cause, the dog will recover with no lasting issues..
External Allergies

All dog breeds can suffer from external allergies... however small breeds, such as Maltipoo dogs, seem to have the more serious reactions. This is most often due to the dog being more fragile and sensitive than other larger breeds. External allergies are also commonly known as "contact" allergies. This is because the culprit is often something that the pup touches. Anything that comes into contact with the body is a possible trigger.

Skin will become dry, there can be hot spots and hair can start to thin.

This can be a very puzzling problem for some owners, as they try to find out what is causing the reactions...In one case a Maltipoo owner whose puppy was suffering greatly finally identified the culprit as being a small stuffed animal toy!
Common Allergy Symptoms

Let's take a look at the signs of allergies.  And let's remember that a dog does not need to have all of these symptoms. Having just one is usually a red flag that something is causing a reaction.
Maltipoo named Sophie
Uncontrollable scratching - Sometimes so severe that the skin is broken and can bleed. If the trigger is not identified and the area is not wrapped properly, a Maltipoo can develop a serious skin infection. It must be noted that scratching can certainly be caused by parasites...most often fleas. An owner should always have their Maltipoo dog protected from fleas, mites and ticks...no matter what the season or the weather. This is a year-round necessity.

Chewing or licking excessively at the paws-  Since the paws are the most easily accessible body part, a dog that is suffering from itching will often chew and lick the paws, often to the point of them becoming raw with hair loss. 

Rash- Rashes vary greatly...you may see small red bumps that are flush with the skin or are raised above the skin line. You may see a cluster of marks or a rash that covers most of the body. If you notice intense scratching, be sure to gently lift sections of the coat to look for signs. While it may appear on the belly, most often it will be under the coat.

Sores, lesions and bumps - A rash can very rapidly turn into sores and lesions which may appear to an owner to be "bumps". With the small and sensitive Maltipoo, a rash that is scratched can turn into a sore or lesion within a week.
Hair loss - With enough itching, hair can fall out. This is usually in once specific area that the dog can easily get to, such as a paw or leg. There are other medical issues that can cause canine hair loss, therefore with this symptom a dog should be examined by a trusted and experienced veterinarian to rule out any other medical causes before diagnosing allergies. Learn more about Maltipoo Hair Loss Issues.

Difficulty breathing - Rasping noises, wheezing noises or having trouble breathing (especially when exercising outdoors is often a sign of an external allergies. Just like humans, Maltipoos can be allergic to pollen just like humans can be. Keep in mind that this may also be a sign of a different medical issue...For example a Collapsed Trachea, which Maltipoo dogs are prone to. You can read more about this in the Health Problems section.

Coughing - This is often caused by allergies. However, do keep in mind that coughing can be caused by a partial blockage in the windpipe, be a sign of Collapsed Trachea or other medical issues. As stated above, you can read more about these issues in the Health section.
Common Allergy Triggers

Environmental: Pollen, weeds, grasses
Contact: Lawn care chemicals, carpet cleaning solution, cheap shampoo and other grooming products, laundry detergent
Food: Artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives
Treatment for Contact Allergies

Treating these symptoms is rather easy...it is just a matter of eliminating the element that is causing the symptoms. However, in most cases the most difficult part is identifying that element.

To minimize your Maltipoo's suffering, methodically rule out each possible cause until you have found the element. Begin with the dog shampoo and work your way down through the possible causes. 
  • Immediately switch to a quality, soothing canine shampoo and conditioner for allergies. When you give your Maltipoo a bath, be sure to rinse the tub or sink before starting the bath for your dog (in case any residue remains from bathroom cleaning substances).
  • Change to a hypo-allergenic laundry detergent. Use this not only for your Maltipoo's items, but also for the whole family. If you pup is allergic to the detergent, reactions may occur when he or she rubs against or lays against your clothing or bedding.
  • If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, stop using rug cleaner or powder deodorizer. If symptoms are severe, use a rug shampoo machine with NO soap and simply clean all carpeting with warm water to get rid of any residual elements.
  • Thoroughly check your Maltipoo dog for fleas. If you see 1 flea, there are many that you do not see. There is never just one. You can test to see if fleas are on your floors by putting on clean white socks and walking from one end of the room to the other...Now look at the bottom of your feet...If you see tiny black specks you know you need to "flea bomb" the home. Dog fleas can very quickly take over the home...within just a few days they can be in all rooms, in the bedding, on the sofa, everywhere. Using "flea bombs", cleaning all clothes, curtains, furniture covers and bedding in hot water and applying flea treatment to your Maltipoo must be done simultaneously.
Maltipoo white and black
Panda (Bear) Schluentz, 3 months (5 lbs.)
Photo courtesy of Melissa Schluentz
Powders & Medicines

Rashes and redness can be treated with baby powder or aloe once your veterinarian has ruled out any other possible medical issues. Oatmeal dog shampoo bathes can be soothing while your Maltipoo recovers. Any rash that may have progressed to infection will need to be treated with antibiotics (either oral, topical or both).

As sores and lesions start to heal, place down soft baby blankets for your Maltipoo to rest on to help prevent irritation. Once treatment is given and the trigger is eliminated, any patches of lost hair should grow back in time.
Food Allergies

Internal allergies are almost always due to reaction to certain elements that are added to commercial food. While it is possible for a dog to be allergic to wheat or other foods, the most frequent triggers are chemical additives including flavoring, coloring and preservative.

With these types of allergies, the main symptoms will be:
  • Vomiting
  • Followed by the secondary symptom of diarrhea
  • Possible skin eruption of sore or rashes
If not treated, this can worsen to  included dehydration, weight loss, loss of muscle tissues and or fainting. Skin rashes can open and become vulnerable to secondary infection.
Treatment

If your dog vomits, your first action must be to make sure your Maltipoo did not ingest any poison or dangerous non-food object. If you do suspect that your Maltipoo swallowed something that he or she should not have, bring him or her to the closest animal hospital...it is important to remember the saying of "Better safe that sorry" if your dog may have been accidentally poisoned. 

If that is not a possibility, most likely your dog is allergic to a food ingredient that he or she ate. Make a list of everything your Maltipoo may have eaten in the past 48 hours.  To give the body a chance to rest and to allow the trigger to be cleansed from the body, a very bland home cooked diet is usually recommended. 

You should begin by feeding your Maltipoo just a simple protein such as boiled lamb and a simple carb such as sweet potato or white rice. This should be served with zero additions...no seasoning, no flavoring, no butter, etc. Allow 2 weeks to pass before you add a 2nd ingredient, such baby carrots. Every 2 weeks, if your Maltipoo tolerates the food, add 1 more ingredient. As you add new foods, you will be able to determine which one is causing the problem.  If your dog handles all basic foods well, this lends to the conclusion that it was an allergen common with processed foods.

While you are waiting for your dog to recover, be sure to offer them a lot of water (Fresh water should always be available even with perfectly healthy Maltipoos) and a soft, warm place to rest., as their stomach will need to calm down. Within 72 hours, your Maltipoo should be feeling much better. If not, bring him or her to the veterinarian ASAP, as dehydration can quickly occur if your dog continues to vomit and/or have diarrhea.
Are Maltipoo Dogs Hypoallergenic?

While on the subject of allergies, can humans be allergic to Maltipoos? It is a widespread belief that Poodles and Maltese dogs are "hypoallergenic", meaning that humans who would normally have allergies to dogs would not with Poodles. This is because the both breeds have hair as opposed to fur. It is for this reason, that many assume and it is common to people to state that the Maltipoo (Poodle and Maltese cross) would, in turn, be hypoallergenic.

In most cases, this is true. However, it must be noted that a small percentage of people are allergic to the dander that is naturally found on the hair of both of these dog breeds. It is for this reason, that one cannot say with 100% certainty that no one could be allergic to a Maltipoo.
With this being said, the number of people who are allergic to dander is very low and if one is looking to add a "hypoallergenic" dog to the family, Maltipoo dogs are a great choice.
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