What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

In conjunction with keeping Boo Boo flea-free, my vet told me it was significant to hold her dirt-free by giving her weekly baths. Dogs love Boo Boo who own allergens working against them from the inside can also be susceptible to allergens from the exterior (like seasonal pollen or other environmental factors). Bathing her weekly washes away any surface allergens that she may own picked up and soothes her itchy skin at the same time. My vet prescribed a medicated shampoo but you can discover greatpet shampoos for allergies containing soothing oatmeal and even hydrocortisone to reduce inflammation. Remember to only use lukewarm to cool water as hotter temperatures can irritate skin.

2.) The second law for managing Boo Boo’s allergies was to put her on a hypoallergenic diet.

(At first, I referred to this as the “Find the Most Expensive Can in the Pet Store Diet” but I came around as I started seeing improvement in Boo Boo’s skin and a reduction in vet bills.)  What a hypoallergenic diet actually consists of is foods that the dog has most likely never eaten before, and therefore cannot own developed antigens in their system that would cause them to react to it.

Since I adopted Boo Boo as an adult, I had no way of knowing what she may or may not own eaten during her lifetime, so I had to make some assumptions.

I already knew that the most common food allergies in dogs are:  beef, chicken, corn, dairy products (including eggs), soy, wheat and yeast. After doing some research onhypoallergenic dog food online, I settled on a venison and sweet potato combo for Boo Boo. (The one I picked was made in the USA by a company that also sources its meat from the United States. This was significant to me as I had read about several cases of dogs being sickened by food made with meat sourced from China.)

One significant consideration when feeding your dog a hypoallergenic diet specifically to manage skin or other conditions:  you cannot feed your dog anything BUT the hypoallergenic food.

This means no treats, no table scraps and no supplements. Monitor your dog (and alert people who come around your dog) to ensure you’re not compromising the integrity of the hypoallergenic diet.

3.)The final step in the plan to get Boo Boo’s condition under control was medication. Because Boo Boo’s case was so severe, my vet prescribed her a powerful oral steroid. Steroids do not prevent allergies, but work by inhibiting the inflammation that cause allergic reactions, thus decreasing the resulting discomfort. Steroids can own serious side effects so it is recommended that they only be used for short periods of time.

I took my vet’s instructions for skin allergies in dogs extremely seriously and followed them exactly.

I’m happy I did because it’s working.  Boo Boo has been on the hypoallergenic diet for a entire of five months now, but I started seeing improvement after about one month. At the onset, Boo Boo had sores below each side of her body (like the ones in the picture above) as well as yeast and staph infections which we had previously been unable to fully eradicate. After 30 days on the diet and medications, I could see the sores drying up and she wasn’t scratching them back open. After 60 days, the sores started to fade, and at 90 days I could actually touch her sides and she would wiggle in pleasure instead of cringing in pain.

Our battle with skin allergies in dogs is by no means over – it took 8 years of neglect by her previous owner to deteriorate her to this point and we’ve only been fighting it for 9 months – but I am confident that we’ve gotten through the worst of it.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

She does still experience some itching from what my vet believes are internal “hot spots,” and she has a bad habit of chewing on her paws from time to time (although she doesn’t chew the hair off). She’s also overweight from being on steroids for so endless, but since weaning her off of them over the final month I own already noticed an increase in her stamina for exercise and a slight decrease in her girth.

The best news is that today, she has no visible sores and loves nothing better than a excellent tummy rub and a thorough scratching below her sides and rump.

It must own literally been years since she’s been capable to enjoy such a basic pleasure and it makes me indescribably happy to see her revel in it. We also just recently hit a benchmark in skin allergies in dogs – she finally has enough hair to start shedding! Normally I wouldn’t be happy about that, but in her case it’s a welcome development.

UPDATE

It has been approximately two years since I started my assault on skin allergies in dogs and I’m happy to report that every of the measures taken own continued to work! Boo Boo has not had a skin flare-up since ending her final course of steroid medication almost two years ago.

Additionally, she is off every medication now and has lost every of the weight associated with long-term steroid use, going from a “fat-panting” 89 lbs. below to her current, healthy weight of 73 lbs. Although we own changed foods a few times, she continues to thrive on a limited ingredient diet with meat sourced from the USA. She will always own some thin spots and bald spots in her fur where the damage could not be undone, but overall her jacket is shiny, healthy and thick.

One thing I own learned in the final two years that is worth a mention:  skin allergies in dogs can also manifest symptoms in other places.

In Boo Boo’s case, it is a susceptibility to ear infections. If her diet is “off” or if she gets treats or foods she is not supposed to eat, the first put it will show up is as an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in one or both of her ears. Just one more reason not to let your dog “cheat” when managing allergies through diet.

It is such a relief to me (and Boo Boo) that these changes in her lifestyle own worked! She is a extremely happy and buoyant 11 year ancient, and will be capable to enjoy the relax of her life itch-free.


The Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr.

Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.

Allergies might be the reason your itchy dog scratches so much

Does your dog constantly lick, scratch, rub, and bite the same areas over and over again?

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

These could be signs of atopic or allergic dermatitis, which are chronic skin conditions associated with allergies. These conditions are extremely similar to eczema and can cause your dog’s skin to become red and inflamed.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

It’s significant to seek medical treatment to determine the underlying cause, so your furry friend can get relief that lasts.

Allergies and dogs

Just love people, dogs can be allergic to common substances in the environment, such as grass and tree pollen, mold, and dust mites. Dogs may also be allergic to fleas, carpets, insecticides, and even ingredients in shampoos. These allergens trigger itch, and depending on what is causing the allergy, your dog may suffer seasonally—or every year round.

To get relief from allergic itch, your dog may scratch, lick, chew, or bite, which unfortunately can make things worse and even lead to skin infection or a rash.

If you notice your dog is itchy, it is significant to make an appointment with your veterinarian and get it checked out.


Allergic itch in dogs can be a short-term seasonal problem or can become a lifelong condition that requires lifelong management

Dogs with persistent itch due to allergies are often diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition extremely similar to eczema. This skin condition is more common than you may ponder.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

In fact, it affects up to 10% of dogs worldwide.1,2

Over time, atopic dermatitis can worsen and can affect your dog’s quality of life. With the itch, the skin can become red, scaly and irritated and a rash can form. If your dog is not treated, there is even a risk of skin and ear infections.3 Dogs with this type of allergic itch sometimes lose interest in playing, too. The constant scratching invades playtime and family time.4 It can also affect your sleep—listening to the sounds of licking, chewing, and scratching over and over again.

Who wouldn’t stay awake?

While there is no cure for allergic itch due to atopic dermatitis, the treatment goal is to reduce symptoms and permit time for your dog’s skin to heal.

The excellent news is, living a normal, happy life is possible for your dog with the assist of your veterinarian and you!

Ask your veterinarian about CYTOPOINT®
for long-lasting relief of dog itch.

References:1. Olivry T, Bäumer W.

Atopic itch in dogs: pharmacology and modeling. In: Cowan A, Yosipovitch G, eds. Pharmacology of Itch, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 2015:357-369. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-44605-8_19. 2. Nuttall T, Uri M, Halliwell R. Canine atopic dermatitis—what own we learned? Vet Rec.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

2013;172(8):201-207. doi:10.1136/vr.f1134. 3. Olivry T, DeBoer DJ, Favrot C, et al. Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: 2010 clinical practice guidelines from the International Task Force on Canine Atopic Dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2010;21(3):233-248. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3164.2010.00889.x. 4. Gonzales AJ, Humphrey WR, Messamore JE, et al. Interleukin-31: its role in canine pruritus and naturally occurring canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2013;24:48-e12. >doi:10.111/j.1365-3164.2012.01098.x.

Allergic itch in dogs can be a short-term seasonal problem or can become a lifelong condition that requires lifelong management

Dogs with persistent itch due to allergies are often diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition extremely similar to eczema.

This skin condition is more common than you may ponder. In fact, it affects up to 10% of dogs worldwide.1,2

Over time, atopic dermatitis can worsen and can affect your dog’s quality of life. With the itch, the skin can become red, scaly and irritated and a rash can form. If your dog is not treated, there is even a risk of skin and ear infections.3 Dogs with this type of allergic itch sometimes lose interest in playing, too. The constant scratching invades playtime and family time.4 It can also affect your sleep—listening to the sounds of licking, chewing, and scratching over and over again. Who wouldn’t stay awake?

While there is no cure for allergic itch due to atopic dermatitis, the treatment goal is to reduce symptoms and permit time for your dog’s skin to heal.

The excellent news is, living a normal, happy life is possible for your dog with the assist of your veterinarian and you!

Ask your veterinarian about CYTOPOINT®
for long-lasting relief of dog itch.

References:1. Olivry T, Bäumer W.

Atopic itch in dogs: pharmacology and modeling. In: Cowan A, Yosipovitch G, eds. Pharmacology of Itch, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 2015:357-369. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-44605-8_19. 2. Nuttall T, Uri M, Halliwell R. Canine atopic dermatitis—what own we learned? Vet Rec. 2013;172(8):201-207. doi:10.1136/vr.f1134. 3. Olivry T, DeBoer DJ, Favrot C, et al. Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: 2010 clinical practice guidelines from the International Task Force on Canine Atopic Dermatitis.

Vet Dermatol. 2010;21(3):233-248. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3164.2010.00889.x. 4. Gonzales AJ, Humphrey WR, Messamore JE, et al. Interleukin-31: its role in canine pruritus and naturally occurring canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2013;24:48-e12.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

>doi:10.111/j.1365-3164.2012.01098.x.

Some common reasons your dog might be itching[1]:

Fleas. Not only do fleas cause intense itchiness in dogs, but some dogs own an allergy to flea bites and saliva, which can cause severely inflamed and itchy skin, hair loss, scabs, and discomfort. Protect your dog from fleas by ensuring they’re on a preventative medication year-round.

Environmental allergy. Your dog may be allergic to pollen, dust mites, mold spores, grasses, and a whole host of other common environmental allergens. You might see your dog licking their paws, rubbing their face or shaking their head after time exterior, along with scratching, rubbing and hair loss on their legs, sides, and stomach.

Paw licking often causes brown staining and redness on the tops and bottoms of the paws. The inner ear flaps and outer ear canals can glance red and irritated, and there may be a brownish ear discharge.

Food allergy. When your dog is allergic to their food (or even their treats), they may show this allergic reaction by itching their face, ears, stomach, armpits, feet and scooting or licking their rear finish. Ear irritation and infections are common with food allergies, too. Some affected dogs may also own digestive issues, love gas, increased number of bowel movements, or loose stools.

Food allergies are typically a result of the protein(s) in their food or treats, not the grains—so going “grain-free” isn’t often the answer.

Hot spots. These raw, inflamed areas often develop due to allergies or fleas. They can also happen after bathing or swimming, especially if the area wasn’t properly dried. Constant scratching or chewing can cause an imbalance in the bacterial levels on their skin, leading to secondary staph infection, which can show as open sores, red bumps, pimples, scabs, and oozing discharge.

Yeast infections. When a dog has a yeast infection, their skin is often greasy, red, or thickened (“elephant skin”), and has an odor.

Folded areas in the ears, on the face, neck, armpits, groin and under the tail are most commonly affected. Yeast infections most often are secondary to allergies, and they are extremely itchy and uncomfortable for your dog.

Staph bacterial infections. These generally happen when your dog has already been scratching an area to the point of inflammation and skin damage, inviting bacteria to multiply and cause an infection. Signs of a staph bacterial infection include persistent itching, skin redness, crusts/scabs, rash, or pimples.

Staph infections in dogs most often are secondary to allergies or parasites but can also happen in dogs with hormonal imbalances.

If you see any of the signs of the above conditions, make an appointment to see your dog’s veterinarian. They will start a work up to diagnose what’s causing your dog’s itch and will partner with you to discover the treatment that works best for you and your pet. They’ll be capable to prescribe medications and give you other tips to give you and your dog much needed relief.



Are You Allergic to Your Pet?

Breathe Easy—You Can Still Hold Your Animal Companion!

Although numerous people own discovered the beneficial effects of caring for a furry friend, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20% of the population is allergic to animals. The result? Countless pet parents in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals.

Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of every, difficulty breathing.

The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of ancient skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells. Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. People can also become allergic to exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents. There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies.

Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies. Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.

Once the diagnosis of a pet allergy is made, a physician will often recommend eliminating the companion animal from the surroundings. Heartbreaking? Yes. Absolutely necessary? Not always. Hold in mind that most people are allergic to several things besides pets, such as dust mites, molds and pollens, every of which can be found in the home.

Allergic symptoms result from the entire cumulative allergen load. That means that if you eliminate some of the other allergens, you may not own to get rid of your pet. (Conversely, should you decide to remove your pet from your home, this may not immediately solve your problems.) You must also be prepared to invest the time and effort needed to decontaminate your home environment, limit future exposure to allergens and discover a physician who will work with you. Read on for helpful tips:

Improving the Immediate Environment

  1. Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless.

    Enquire your allergist for a product recommendation.

  2. Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of liberty from allergens every night. It’s a excellent thought to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
  3. Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s brilliant to let in some unused air daily.
  4. Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag.

    Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.

  5. Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you select to hold some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make excellent window treatments. You can also cover your furniture with sheets or blankets which you can remove and wash regularly.
  6. Clean the litter box frequently. Use low-dust, perfume-free filler.

    Clumping litter is a excellent choice.

  7. Dust regularly. Wiping below the walls will also cut below on allergens.
  8. Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.


Decontaminating Your Pet

  1. Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal. Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
  2. Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won’t dry out his skin.

    Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.

  3. Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment. Enquire your veterinarian to propose one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.
  4. Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible. (The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make certain your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)


Taking Care of Yourself

  1. Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes.

    Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.

  2. If possible, own someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing. If you must clean the home or change the litter, be certain to wear a dust mask.
  3. Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face. The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
  4. Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make certain that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will assist alleviate your symptoms.

    Medications and immunotherapy (desensitizing shots) can often permit you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.

One of the most common medical complaints that we see in our office is dogs with skin infections, “hot spots”, or allergic dermatitis, also known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis.

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems. This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs.

These problems may range from poor jacket texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to boiling spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also frolic a part in chronic ear infections. The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin. To make matters more hard to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, an “allergen”.

Most dogs start to show their allergic signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds, including Golden Retrievers, most terriers, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Ancient English Sheep dogs are more commonly atopic, but numerous dogs, including mixed breed dogs can own atopic dermatitis. Atopic animals will generally rub, lick, chew, bite, or scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin.

The skin itself may be dry and crusty or oily depending upon the dog. Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and boiling. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarian’s approach needs to be thorough and systematic. Shortcuts generally will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies
Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds.

A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to glance at the timing of the reaction. Does it happen year round? This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Food Allergies
Numerous people don’t suspect food allergies as the cause of their dog’s itching because their pet has been fed the same food every its life and has just recently started having symptoms. However, animals can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not law out food allergies. Another common misconception is that dogs are only sensitive to poor quality food.

If the dog is allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t matter whether it is in premium food or the most inexpensive brand on the market. One advantage to premium foods is that some avoid common fillers that are often implicated in allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies
This type of reaction generally is not to the flea itself, but rather to proteins in its saliva. Interestingly enough, the dogs most prone to this problem are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally! A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to own a miserable dog.

Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity
Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to the normal Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria on its skin.

It appears that bacterial hypersensitivity in the dog is more likely to happen if other conditions such as hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are concurrently present. Bacterial hypersensitivity is diagnosed through bacterial culture and examination of a biopsy sample. Microscopically, there are certain unique changes in the blood vessels of the skin in bacterial hypersensitivity.

Diagnosis

Allergy testing is the best diagnostic tool and the best road to treatment for dogs that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies.

There are several diverse testing methods available. The most common is a blood test that checks for antigen induced antibodies in the dog’s blood. Intradermal skin testing may also be performed. In this method of testing, a little quantity of antigen is injected into a shaved portion of the dog’s skin. This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a little raised reaction, the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction. Allergy testing is performed to develop a specific therapy for the allergic animal.

Treatment

Medicated Baths
Numerous medicated shampoos own compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation.

In addition, frequent bathing (weekly to every other week) of the dog can remove allergens from the hair jacket, which may contribute to skin allergy flare-ups. The medicated baths we recommend are those that actually contain antimicrobial and antifungal agents as well as ingredients that permit the skin to be bathed on a more frequent basis without drying it out. Application of a rinse afterwards also helps to prevent drying out of the skin and hair coat.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines can be used with excellent safety in dogs. About one third of owners report success with antihistamines. These medications tend to own a variable effect between dogs.

For some allergic dogs, antihistamines work extremely well in controlling symptoms of allergic skin disease. For other dogs, extremely little effect is seen. Therefore, a minimum of three diverse types of antihistamines should be tried before owners give up on this therapy. Examples of antihistamines commonly used for dogs include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Clemastine. However, antihistamines are considered to be worth trying in most cases since the side effects associated with antihistamines is low, and they are typically inexpensive medications.

Antibiotics and Antifungal Medications
Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat secondary skin infections.

Anti-fungal medications are frequently needed to treat secondary yeast infections.

Flea Control
For dogs with this problem, a strict flea control regime must be maintained. The best flea control options include the use of products such as Advantage, Revolution, Frontline, Comfortis, and Sentinel.

Supplements
The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin.

What can i do for my dog with skin allergies

These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. They reportedly are helpful in 20% of allergic dogs. My own experience puts this figure a little higher. They are certainly worth a attempt because they are not harmful and own virtually no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). These supplements are diverse from those sold to produce a glossy jacket. Products that contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include Allergen Caps and Halo.

Hypoallergenic Diets
Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before.

As mentioned previously, the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic to is through diagnostic allergy testing. As dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for 80% of food allergies in dogs, these items should be avoided. Novel protein sources used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and types of fish not generally found in pet food. Carbohydrate sources include potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

Hydrolyzed protein diets are diets in which the protein source has been synthetically reduced to little fragments. The theory behind feeding a hydrolyzed protein source is that the proteins in the food should be little enough that the allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the protein fragments and will not mount an immune response resulting in an allergy.

Most pets with food allergies reply well when switched to a store-bought hypoallergenic diet, but occasionally an animal suffers from such extreme allergies that a homemade diet is the only option.

In this case, the diet should be customized with the aid of a veterinarian.

Corticosteroids and Immunosuppressive Agents
Cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone reduce itching by reducing inflammation. These medications are not without side effects, so they need to be used judiciously in treating skin allergies. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short, the quantity of drug required is little, or to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort. Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, and behavioral changes.

Long-term use can result in diabetes and decreased resistance to infection. In some dogs, endless term, low-dose alternate day therapy is the only management protocol that successfully controls the atopic pet. This protocol should be used only as a final resort after every other methods own been exhausted to avoid the potential long-term complications of the medication.

Cyclosporine (Atopica) is a medication, which seems to be fairly effective at reducing the inflammation associated with skin allergies and calming the immune system of the affected dog.

However, the pricing of cyclosporine may be prohibitive for larger breed dogs.

Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Allergy shots are extremely safe, and numerous people own grand success with them; however, they are extremely slow to work. It may be six to twelve months before improvement is seen. Once the allergens for the dog are identified, an appropriate immunotherapy is manufactured for that specific dog, and treatment can start. After the offending antigens are identified, then a mixture of these antigens can be formulated into a hyposensitizing injection. Depending on the type of agents used, these injections will be given over a period of weeks to months until the dog or cat develops immunity to the agents.

After initial protection, an occasional booster may own to be given.

Environmental Control
If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control. Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your home plants. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Air conditioning can also reduce circulating amounts of airborne allergens because windows are then kept closed.

Thyroid Medication
Healthy skin and a normal hair jacket are the results of numerous factors, both external and internal. There are several glands in the body responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for the regulation of other body functions as well as a normal skin surface and hair jacket.

Hypothyroidism may result in poor skin and hair jacket, including hair loss or abnormal hair turnover, dull or brittle hair, altered pigmentation, and oily or dry skin. A blood test is a simplest and most direct way to tell if your dog is hypothyroid. Thyroid testing may include every or part of the following:

Baseline T4 Test or Entire T4 (TT4): This is the most common test. Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will own a lowered level of the T4 hormone.

However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. In combination with the T4 or T3 test, it provides a more finish picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less precise than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more precise data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream.

This test is not dependable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected. This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine).

Blood samples will need to be drawn periodically to assess the effectiveness of the dosage and make any adjustments necessary.

Successful management of the atopic, allergic dog is sometimes complicated and frustrating because multi-modal management is necessary in the majority of cases to control the allergic flare-ups. Proper diagnosis by a veterinarian and owner compliance and follow up care is essential to maximize the chances of curing or at least controlling the severely affected allergy patient.



Skin allergies in dogs are normal.

When I found my dog, Boo Boo, wandering the streets final drop, it was obvious she had some problems. For starters, she was much too thin (she resembled a bobble head). She also had large patches of hair missing from her neck, chest and back. It turns out it was skin allergies.

She was so filthy I didn’t even realize how much hair she was missing until after I gave her a bath, and it was weeks before I was capable to penetrate the layers of black tar-like gunk that had accumulated in both her ears. After I got her cleaned up, however,  I realized that she was going to need more than regular square meals and excellent hygiene to get her healthy again.

Boo itched.

Maddeningly and constantly, her itching plagued her to the point that she would dart from put to put in the home as if she thought she could outrun it. I had taken her to the vet numerous times and come home packing a canine apothecary each time, but nothing we had tried so far was capable to completely alleviate her discomfort.

Then, on one of Boo Boo’s monthly vet visits, her regular practitioner was on vacation.

The vet filling in just happened to take a special interest in dermatology. In fact, he was passionate about the subject and gladly spent over an hour educating me about what is unfortunately an all-too-common affliction: skin allergies in dogs.

My vet broke it below this way. A dog encounters an allergen by contact, inhalation or ingestion. Since we didn’t know which of these factors was causing Boo Boo’s persistent condition (or if it was a combination or every three), he recommended a three-pronged approach to tackle them all:

1.)The first law of combating skin allergies in dogs is to get them on a preventative flea treatment (my vet prefersFrontline Plus) and hold them on it religiously (I remember to dose Boo Boo monthly by applying it on the same day I do other significant things – love pay rent).

This should be an automatic for every pet owner, but it is especially significant for dogs love Boo Boo who suffer from flea allergy dermatitis.

The most common allergy in dogs,flea allergy dermatitis is a condition in which the dog is hypersensitive to the saliva of fleas. In allergic dogs, every it takes is one or two bites from a flea to cause an allergic reaction, resulting in unbearable itching which dogs will scratch and bite to the point that they can develop inflammation, sores, and permanent skin damage. Having these types of sores can also leave a dog vulnerable to secondary skin infections such as yeast and staph, underscoring the critical importance of always keeping up on their flea treatment regimen.


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