Pets get allergies too!

Pets have allergies just like people. Pollen, food, insects and molds can all cause your pet to have an allergic reaction. Dogs and cats mostly experience allergy symptoms through the skin with itching and potentially hives, which can progress to infection. This is very uncomfortable and painful when they cause abrasions from scratching. Pets can also show symptoms through the respiratory system, which can include sneezing, red itchy eyes and a clear runny nose.

With the mildest allergic symptoms, topical therapy helps heal the skin and reduce skin yeast and bacteria. However, when a pet has severe symptoms with deep infection, painful itch and oozing sores, we need a more comprehensive treatment plan. We may use a combination of sprays, shampoo, ointments and oral medication to treat secondary skin infections. Actual therapy to arrest the allergic skin reactions in the first place can take different forms and we have some amazing new immunologic medications to provide important relief from itching.

If you are interested, we can explore ongoing therapy with the following immune modulating treatments. Just so you know, Dr. Cassy, Dr. Collins and Drs. Yackey and Bradley ALL have their dogs on immune modulating treatments. The following options help provide our dogs with relief and allow us to sleep at night without listening to our dogs itch and lick:

1. Dogs can have an immune panel that tests your dog for allergy to MANY common allergens in our local area. Dr Cassy did this for her dog Kahlua and found out she is allergic to cats and house dust mites in addition to other pollens and grasses. Kahlua was then given oral drops to desensitize her allergic response. When she sometimes has breakthrough itching, she also takes a medication called Apoquel.

2. Apoquel is a tablet that is either used intermittently at higher doses for extreme itch or chronically at lower doses to prevent itch. All veterinarians here have used this on their dogs and we feel like it is magical. It does not have the negative side effects that we see with cortisone pills and it stops itch very well.

3. Dr Yackey and Bradley’s dog Noodle used to take Apoquel, but now she is on a new immunologic therapy called Cytopoint. This is technically not a drug; it acts more like an immune globulin injection that targets a cell to cell messenger that is responsible for stimulating itchiness. The beauty of this therapy is that it is so specifically targeted that it does the job but does not have negative side effects.

Schedule an appointment to discuss options to make your pet more comfortable during this allergy season!