An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance.
Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin®, Zyloprim®) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.
Alprazolam is a medication given by mouth as a tablet or liquid used off label in cats and dogs to treat anxiety and phobias. Common side effects include sedation, increased appetite, or uncoordinated walking. This medication should not be used in pets with a paradoxical reaction and should be used with caution in debilitated, geriatric, pregnant, lactating pets, or in pets with liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Amantadine is an antiviral medication given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, that is mainly used off label for its pain control effects in pets. Common side effects include agitation and gastrointestinal effects. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, or that have untreated glaucoma. It should be used with caution in pets with liver, kidney, or heart disease, or in pets with eczema or seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Descendants of English Foxhounds brought to the US in the 17th century by George Washington and several of his contemporaries, American English Coonhounds were bred to handle North America's rougher terrain. A dual-purpose dog, they were employed to hunt fox during the day and raccoons at night, using their endless energy and enthusiastic bawl.
The American Eskimo Dog (Eskie to his friends) comes in the largest size range of any of the spitz dogs, from six-pound toy to 40-pound standard. Fun-loving and smart, this is one of the most companionable of spitz breeds.
The American Foxhound is a gentle, loving breed that does well in packs. If one dog is your limit, the humans in the family will have to be the pack. In other words, this breed does not do well isolated in the back yard, but must be part of a group. Several strains exist today, most kept by dedicated hunters.
The American Staffordshire Terrier, like the other bull terrier breeds, has a reputation as a fighting dog. But with the exception of those that have been poorly socialized or trained to fight, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a fine, affectionate canine companion who has been unfairly targeted by legislation aimed at outlawing the breed.
Energetic and playful, the American Water Spaniel loves kids and makes a great companion for active people. They enjoy investigating, running, hunting, fetching, and swimming. This sporting breed likes to keep moving and needs lots of exercise, but isn't as gregarious as more familiar spaniels like Springers and Brittanys.