There are five main types of allergy that your dog can suffer from. These include: Flea Allergies, Inhalant Allergies, Food Allergies, Contact Allergies and Bacterial Allergies.
While most allergies can be treated by removing or eliminating the source of the irritant, bacterial allergies are a little bit more complex.
A dog has natural bacteria which exist on his skin; however, if you notice that there your dog is experiencing hair loss or has itchy skin or red blotches; these may be signs of a bacterial allergy.
The natural bacterial flora found on a dog’s skin (and also on human skin) is known as Staphylococcus or Staph bacteria. If your dog’s immune system is functioning normally and he is eating a healthy diet, then his body systems are all in good order and he should have no reaction to this bacteria.
If; however, there are any irregularities on the skin, then your dog may be experiencing a bacterial allergy. Some signs of a bacterial allergy include the skin appearing to be infected with patches that are similar to those seen when if your dog is suffering from a ringworm infection. The skin surrounding the area will be bare from the hair loss and the patches of bare skin may have a crusting on them or reddened lesions.
Some dogs show no more sign of this kind of allergy than some “pimples” under their chin accompanied by a rash in the groin area. However, if the allergy continues to develop, the “rash” may become pussy and chronically painful.
The most common treatment for this variety of allergy is with antibiotics. Antibiotics are used because the Staph will develop into a true infection once it develops into lesions on the dog’s skin. Of course, antibiotics are not good for long term use, only to deal with the immediate threat of infection and to eradicate the infection. Another route for treatment is with desensitization to the Staph over time.
Certain breeds of dogs seem to be more susceptible to allergies to bacteria, and in particular, specific lines within those breeds and in particular, Mastiffs.