The Weimaraner is every inch a hunting dog. Once owned only by a handful of 19th-century European nobles in the province of Weimar, the breed has since spread to other parts of Europe and North America. While they were specifically bred for durability, Weimaraners frequently suffer from allergic reactions.
Allergies aren't a severe problem for Weimaraners, but they aren't all that unusual either. Skin allergies were the second most reported immune system problem by owners of the breed over the last few decades, according to a 2008 survey by the Weimaraner Club of America. Negative reaction to vaccination, which can be related to allergies, was the most common problem reported by owners. Any dog can inherit allergies or acquire them later in life regardless of their breed. There are tons of different irritants that your dog is exposed to ever day, especially if he spends time in forested areas.
Sniffing a few garden flowers, enjoying scraps of table food and exploring a dusty basement are just a few of the activities that can expose your dog to allergens. In fact, just walking around the house may be enough to make him itchy and miserable. Skin allergies can be caused by cleaning solutions, spores, powder-excreting birds, smoke and parasites. Take your dog to the vet if he starts to lose hair, itch constantly or develop rashes. You should also check for dog for parasites, as they can cause an allergic reaction in addition to the normal irritation from bites.
Dietary allergies are a completely different story. They can cause some of the same skin problems that superficial allergic reactions do, but they are also associated with more alarming symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. You should consult a vet immediately if your dog displays signs of digestive distress, but don't worry too much about it if it is a one-time thing. Your pup may have swallowed something strange or icky that caused the reaction. If the problem isn't going away, there's a chance he's having an adverse reaction to an ingredient in his standard food. Ask your vet about allergy-safe food and supplements to isolate the cause of the problem.
There are a few tactics you can take to give your Weimaraner some relief from allergy symptoms. You can treat symptoms of skin allergies, including those from stings or bites, by giving your dog 1/2 milligram of Benadryl per pound of weight every eight hours, according to Michigan Weimaraner Rescue. You should always ask your vet before giving your dog people medicine, even if you know it is safe. Keep your house clean by vacuuming regularly to prevent dust, pollen and other irritants from building up on carpet or furniture. Restrict your dog's access to dusty areas, like basements, and keep him away from cleaning solution fumes.
- weimaraner image by Emilio Maull from Fotolia.com