Friday, October 28, 2011

Dog Allergies Treatment - Help For Itchy Dogs

Dog Allergies Treatment - Help For Itchy Dogs by Jennifer Grets

The most common reaction to allergens in dogs are skin problems. The primary symptoms are licking, biting, and scratching. Skin problems can be difficult to diagnose because there are so many different causes. Finding the correct diagnosis leads to the best dog allergies treatment for your pet.

Allergies can be controlled by avoiding the allergens, treating the symptoms, or desensitizing the dog. Diagnosis is based on symptoms, physical exam and lab tests. Treatment can include antihistamines and corticosteroids. Management may include topical sprays, and medicated shampoos.

Food sensitivities cause itching skin, anal itching, ear inflammations, and occasionally vomiting, diarrhea, or asthma-like coughing. Allergies develop over time so don't rule out food because the dogs diet is unchanged. Many commercial foods are available to help. Finding the correct ingredients is trial and error, but once a food is found that doesn't trigger your dogs sensitivities, the new diet is as good as a cure.

Flea allergies are a hypersensitivity to the saliva in the flea bite. One bite causes itching lasting 5 to 7 days. Symptoms are biting, scratching, and hair loss from excessive licking. Topical flea medications work after an adult flea has bitten, so this isn't enough for an allergic dog. Treatment is fleas control. Use chemicals sparingly. Too many can be as harmful as the fleas. Oatmeal baths provide temporary relief of itching. Wash dog bedding with every bath. Limit walks, staying away from trails frequented by wildlife. Your vet may prescribe an antihistamine shot for long-term relief or corticosteroids for immediate relief.

Inhalant, or atopy allergies are the most common. These include allergic reactions to dust mites, molds, and pollens. First step is a combination strategy of reducing exposure to the allergen, and providing relief for itching. A dehumidifier will reduce molds. Cover dirt around house plants with activated charcoal. Control dust and pollens with an air cleaner. Air conditioning reduces dust and pollen exposure.

Treatments of symptoms includes weekly baths with oatmeal or medicated shampoos for temporary relief of itching. Topical sprays and creams are used for localized itching. Antihistamines are relatively safe. You may have to try different ones to find one that doesn't overly sedate your pet. Not all over the counter antihistamines are safe for dogs. Consult a vet to determine which choices are safe and effective, and at what dosage. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation which reduces itching. It's primarily used short term to relieve severe itching and inflammation. Long term use is discouraged because this medication suppresses the immune system. Omega-3 is helpful to some dogs. It's a natural anti-inflammatory that reduces the amount and effects of histamines and other chemicals released in response to allergies. It's very safe and used in conjunction with antihistamines can reduce the need for corticosteroids.

Immunotherapy stimulates the immune system to decrease the body's reaction. Shots contain small amounts or extracts of the allergen based on results of skin testing. The dog's owner gives shots to the pet at home. They are very effective but slow to work, taking 6-12 months to see improvement.

Continued biting and scratching can lead to open sores which can become infected, requiring antibiotics. Seeking dog allergies treatment early can reduce the need for corticosteroids and antibiotics, medications that come with more side effects.

Jennifer is a pet health professional specializing in dog allergies treatment.

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Anonymous,  November 12, 2011 12:39 PM  

Excellent Post! I just noticed this change a few minutes ago and made a short post about it. I will include your post in it.
Thanks for the suggestions
my dog vomiting

Stephen December 06, 2011 12:48 PM  

85% Canine allergy Itch = Enviro Sources.

Before Allergy Sterpoids or Shots ...

Please ADD Sublingual Doggy GOO as a 100% Natural way to Sublingually Build Immune Tolerance to Offending Pollens, Dust Mites & Molds.

Sublingual Doggy GOO is Vet Dermatologist to Stop the Itch !

Keith January 20, 2012 1:45 PM  

About 1 in 7 dogs today suffer from an allergy. Allergies in dogs are clearly becoming a big issue for dog owners, most of whom are sadly lacking in the basics of the multiple causes of allergic reactions in dogs. Well done on expanding on those for the uninformed.

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