What to use for dog skin allergies
The first step to determining the cause of your dog’s symptoms is a thorough exam by your veterinarian. In addition to looking for external skin parasites such as fleas and mites, your veterinarian will desire to do some diagnostics to assist him/her determine what types of infections may be present. After diagnosing and treating for external parasites and infections, your veterinarian may desire to discuss allergy testing. Once your veterinarian believes that allergies are the root cause of skin irritation/infections and discomfort, then they may recommend testing for specific allergens.
There are numerous things to test for in determining what your dog may be causing the allergies for your dog. Dog allergens drop into the following groups:
- Flea allergies — numerous dogs are highly allergic to flea bites
- Food allergies — including diverse types of proteins
- Contact allergy — including numerous grasses and plants, dust mites and molds
- Inhalant allergy (Atopy) — allergens that are inhaled
Contact allergies such as flea, food and dust/pollen allergies are by far the most common cause of allergies in dogs.
These allergens can cause an allergic reaction in the body that focuses largely on and within the epidermis, causing severe irritation. The result is a dog scratching itself to the point that skin infections and injuries can occur.
Understand your pet allergies
It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own. You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them.
There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.
The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.
Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal.
A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.
You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction). However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.
There Are Two Main Types Of Dog Allergy Testing
Blood Testing and Intradermal Skin Testing.
Each type of canine allergy testing istered differently and has its benefits and drawbacks. However, the following points hold true for both types of dog allergy testing:
- Chronic bacterial infections (common secondary invaders)
- Fungal or yeast infections of the skin (common secondary invaders)
A veterinarian might also order a 12 week hypoallergenic diet to law out a food allergy.
Food allergies are hard to detect using either dog allergy testing method, and therefore should be sure through dietary manipulation. Once every of these possibilities are ruled out, the veterinarian will order either a blood or skin test to determine the presence of dog allergies.
Be happy you didn’t let allergies break up a beautiful relationship
It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Causes a Pet Allergy?
The occupation of the immune system is to discover foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. People with pet allergies own over-sensitive immune systems. They can react to harmless proteins in the pet's urine, saliva or dander (dead skin cells).
The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens.
Pet allergens can collect on furniture and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a endless time. Sometimes the allergens may remain at high levels for several months and cling to walls, furniture, clothing and other surfaces.
Pet hair is not an allergen. It can collect dander, urine and saliva. It also can carry other allergens love dust and pollen.
Cat and dog allergens are everywhere.
Pet allergens are even in homes and other places that own never housed pets. This is because people can carry pet allergens on their clothing. Also, allergens can get into the air when an animal is petted or groomed. Pet allergens can also be stirred into the air where the allergens own settled. This can happen during dusting, vacuuming or other household activities. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for endless periods.
What If I Desire to Hold My Pet?
Removing the pet from the home is often the best treatment. However, if you still desire to hold your pet, there may be some strategies to reduce exposure.
- Wear a dust mask to vacuum.
Vacuum cleaners stir up allergens that own settled on carpet and make allergies worse. Use a vacuum with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter if possible.
- Washing the pet every week may reduce airborne allergens, but is of questionable worth in reducing a person's symptoms.
- Forced-air heating and air-conditioning can spread allergens through the home. Cover bedroom vents with thick filtering material love cheesecloth.
- Adding an air cleaner combined with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®filter to central heating and air conditioning can assist remove pet allergens from the air.
Use an air cleaner at least four hours per day. Another type of air cleaner that has an electrostatic filter will remove particles the size of animal allergens from the air. No air cleaner or filter will remove allergens stuck to surfaces, though.
- Animal allergens are sticky. So you must remove the animal's favorite furniture, remove wall-to-wall carpet and scrub the walls and woodwork. Hold surfaces throughout the home clean and uncluttered. Bare floors and walls are best.
- Change your clothes after prolonged exposure with an animal.
- Have someone without a pet allergy brush the pet exterior to remove dander as well as clean the litter box or cage.
- If you must own carpet, select one with a low pile and steam clean it frequently.
Better yet, use throw rugs and wash them in boiling water.
- Remove your pet from the bedroom. You spend from one-third to one-half of your time there. Hold the bedroom door closed and clean the bedroom aggressively. You might consider using a HEPA air cleaner in your bedroom.
- Talk to your allergist about options for medicine or immunotherapy.
Glance for this mark to discover products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.
Discover CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products on ourCertification program websiteor download our app on theApp Storeor Play.
Medical ReviewOctober 2015.
How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Pet Allergy?
Your doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, medical history and test results.
Your doctor can use either a blood test or skin test to aid in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will show if there is allergic sensitization to the animal.
Some people discover it hard to believe that they could be allergic to their pets. The doctor may tell you to stay out of the home where the pet lives to see if your symptoms go away. It does not assist to remove the dog or cat, because the allergen will remain. Pet allergens still in the home can cause symptoms months after the animal is gone.
What Is the Best Treatment for Pet Allergy?
The best treatment is to avoid contact with cats or dogs or the areas where they live.
Hold pets out of your home. If possible, attempt to avoid visiting homes with pets that you are allergic to. Avoiding cats and dogs may give you enough relief that you will not need medicine.
Keeping the pet outdoors will assist, but will not rid the home of pet allergens. Another option is to select pets that do not own fur or feathers.
Fish, snakes or turtles are some choices.
Pet allergy can be a social problem making it hard to visit friends and relatives who own cats and dogs (and sometimes horses and other animals). This may be especially troublesome for children who cannot participate in activities at the home of friends. Talk to your doctor about possible use of medication before these social exposures and specific measures to take after the exposure.
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 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.
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.
The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Canine atopic dermatitis is love a trickster in a fairy tale-always causing chaos.
But let's talk about a more practical helpful of magic. After every, you don't need to be Houdini to get pet owners to cheer for your successful treatment of their itchy pets. It is true that an estimated 10% to 15% of dogs suffer from atopic dermatitis; and the actual number is probably considerably higher. Atopic dermatitis typically manifests as pruritus and erythema, but some dogs develop recurrent pyoderma or otitis externa instead. Here's how to take the intrigue out of canine atopic dermatitis-no secret key or sleight of hand required.
We're talking about a long-term relationship here!
In his CVC presentation, Dr.
Darin Dell explained the importance of a supportive relationship with owners of atopic dogs and of asking what they can handle-you're in it for the endless haul! Hear it here:
No magic pill
No single therapy is 100% effective at treating atopic dermatitis. Most patients need a core therapy and one or two supportive therapies. Four core allergy therapies that are safe for long-term use are 1) immunotherapy, 2) cyclosporine, 3) oclacitinib and 4) canine atopic dermatitis immunotherapeutic (CADI).
Immunotherapy, the gold standard of allergy therapy, is the only treatment that changes the immune system's response to allergies rather than suppressing the immune system or dulling the clinical signs.
Immunotherapy can prevent new allergies from developing. It is also the only therapy that could potentially cure a patient. However, the cure rate is low, and most dogs require immunotherapy for life.1
Onset of action: Six to 12 months for significant benefit
Side effects: No major side effects (anaphylaxis can happen but is rare)
Both istration routes (subcutaneous injections and sublingual drops) are effective. The best choice is the one that the owner will comply with.
Because of the slow onset of action, numerous patients need an additional core therapy when beginning immunotherapy.
Dogs should get immunotherapy for a year before you and the owner discuss whether it is worth continuing.
Cyclosporine (Atopica-Elanco) treats allergy signs by suppressing IL-2, T helper cells, and T suppressor cells.2
Onset of action: Four to six weeks for full effect
Side effects: Mild vomiting and diarrhea are the most common.
Hypertrichosis, gingival hyperplasia or immunosuppression is possible.
To assist prevent vomiting, owners can freeze capsules, give the medication with a little meal, divide the dose throughout the day, or start with a low dose and ramp up to the target dose over two weeks.
Since cyclosporine does not provide immediate relief. I combine it with a corticosteroid during the first two or three weeks of treatment.3
Do not taper cyclosporine until the desired response has been reached. It is best to taper slowly by eliminating one dose a week until every-other-day dosage is achieved or clinical signs relapse. If a relapse occurs, the client should return to the previously effective dosing regimen.
An inability to taper does not indicate treatment failure; some dogs require daily therapy endless term.
Oclacitinib (Apoquel-Zoetis) treats allergy signs by blocking IL-31-the cytokine linked to the feeling of itch-and suppressing IL-2, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-13.
Onset of action: One or two days, but some dogs improve within 30 minutes. I own had a few patients not reply for five to seven days.
Side effects: Decreased hematopoiesis and immune suppression are potential side effects, especially at higher dosages and in dogs less than 12 months of age. Published safety studies own thus far found minimal changes on hematologic tests at maintenance dosing.
Vomiting and diarrhea were the most common side effects in clinical studies. 4,5 However, I own had a couple patients develop vomiting severe enough to stop the medication.
A twice-a-day dosage is recommended for the first two weeks and then once daily thereafter. I own had some patients whose skin worsened when the frequency was reduced to daily, but eventually, these dogs did get back to the desired level of relief with the daily dosage.
Calculate the low and high finish of the dose range using 0.4 to 0.6 mg/kg instead of using the dosing chart provided.
Editor's note: Apoquel has been in the news-but despite shortage issues in the past, Zoetis announced it's now in fully supply.
Discover more coverage here.
CADI (Zoetis) is a once-a-month injection of a monoclonal antibody that targets IL-31. It is available through most veterinary dermatologists and some general practitioners.
Onset of action: One or two days, but some dogs feel itch relief as soon as 30 minutes.
Side effects: None
It is safe for puppies and dogs with other health problems.
CADI is beneficial for dogs with owners who may not see well enough to give a pill or may forget to give it every day.
We do not know what clinical effect CADI will own on allergic otitis, recurrent pyoderma or allergy-related erythema since it only targets the cytokine linked to itch.
A magical(ish) treatment strategy
Every allergen patient is different-different allergies, primary signs, and secondary problems-so every treatment needs to be diverse, too.
Nevertheless, your treatment strategy should be consistent.
Step 1. Provide adequate flea control. Any allergy (e.g. flea, food, seasonal) can cause other allergies to get worse-it can kick start inflammation. So ensure that fleas are a nonissue by making certain these dogs are receiving appropriate flea control.
Step 2. Eliminate infections. Eliminating infections reduces pruritus and inflammation while also improving the patient's odor and appearance.
Dogs with allergies may be slower to reply to antibiotics than dogs without allergies are, so check progress after three weeks of antibiotic therapy but treat until infections are gone.
Step 3. Rebuild the epidermal barrier with ceramides. When the epidermal barrier is intact, there is less allergen exposure, less risk of infection and less pruritus. You can discover ceramides in shampoos, sprays, conditioners and spot-on products.
Step 4. Conscientiously select a core treatment. First and foremost, the best treatment is the one that the owner will actually ister correctly.
Beyond that, consider the patient's underlying medical conditions, the severity of the allergy, and the primary signs.
Step 5. Add supportive therapy as needed. These therapies include antibacterial and antipruritic shampoos, wipes and sprays as well as oral antihistamines, oral essential fatty acids and topical ceramides. Reevaluate your supportive therapy after a month and then on an on-going basis, as the patient's needs will likely change over time.
Editor's note: It may not be as obvious as the ancient rabbit out the cap, but successful treatment of atopic dermatitis can be magic for the human-animal bond.
For more ideas, tools and tips, check out the dvm360 dermatology toolkit.
1. Dell L. Darin, Griffin CE, Thompson LA, et al. Owner assessment of therapeutic interventions for canine atopic dermatitis: a long-term retrospective analysis. Vet Dermatol 2012;23:228.
2. Guaguere E, Steffan J, Olivry T. Cyclosporin A: a new drug in the field of canine dermatology. Vet Dermatol 2004;15:61-74.
3. Dip R, Carmichael J, Letellier I, et al.
Concurrent short-term use of prednisolone with cyclosporine A accelerates pruritus reduction and improvement in clinical scoring in dogs with atopic dermatitis. BMC Vet Res 2013;9:173.
4. Cosgrove SB, Wren JA, Cleaver DM, et al. A blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy and safety of the Janus kinase inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel) in client-owned dogs with atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 2013;24,587-597.
5. Zoetis, Apoquel package insert, February 2013.
Darin Dell, DVM, DACVD
Animal Dermatology Clinic
3901 East 82nd St.
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?
Allergies to pets with fur are common, especially among people who own other allergies or asthma.
In the United States, as numerous as three in 10 people with allergies own allergic reactions to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.
What Are the Symptoms of a Pet Allergy?
Cat and dog allergens can land on the membranes that line the eyes and nose. Reactions include swelling and itching of the membranes, stuffy nose and inflamed eyes. A pet scratch or lick can cause the skin area to become red. It is common to get itchy eyes after petting an animal then touching your eyes.
If allergen levels are low or sensitivity is minor, symptoms may not appear until after several days of contact with the pet.
Many airborne particles are little enough to get into the lungs.
For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can start coughing, wheezing and own shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens. Sometimes highly sensitive people also get an intense rash on the face, neck and upper chest.
Contact with a cat can trigger a severe asthma episode (asthma attack) in up to three in ten people with asthma. Cat allergies also can lead to chronic asthma.
Most allergies are contact allergies.
There are definitely a percentage of dogs that own food allergies also.
Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Pet?
People with dog allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds of dogs than others. Some people may be allergic to every dogs. People may ponder certain breeds of dogs are “hypoallergenic,” but a truly non-allergic dog or cat does not exist.
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.
So today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about allergies, and there’s so numerous misconceptions and misinformation out there, and people who desire to sell you every kinds of things that are going to cure the allergies, but I’m going to helpful of give you just a basic picture of what’s significant to know. And most importantly, remember, every dog is diverse. Every situation is diverse, and you really need the assist and guidance of a veterinary to select the best products.
Most people come to us because their dog is, tell, itching for whatever reason.
Obviously, the first thing we’re going to law out would be parasites. There are some kinds of mites that can cause itching, certainly fleas and even ticks can cause itching, so we’re going to make certain that those things are well covered first. Then the next thing we’ll start to talk about would be things love environmental concerns.
But really, with allergies, the way that they work with most dogs is that the vast majority are contact allergies. Yes, love some love that, and a dog is going to be exposed by stepping or rolling or laying in the grass, or whatever, and they’re going to be exposed to allergens.
When we test for allergies, we’re testing for about 75 diverse things, so no one can glance at your dog and tell, «Oh, it’s grass.» There’s really just no way of knowing that, but it’s certainly a extremely excellent possibility that it could be grass or molds that are in the grass when the grasses are wet.
But what happens is these allergens are exposed to the dog’s skin, and then they’re absorbed through the skin. Dogs that own allergies, a lot of them own a barrier problem; meaning if you ponder about the skin as being love saran wrap, and dogs that own allergies own more holes in their saran wrap than other dogs.
So then these allergens are capable to penetrate through the skin, and in addition, they own some overreaction to whatever it is they’re being exposed to. If it’s grass, the grass allergens are getting into the skin and into the second layer of the skin a little bit easier, and then the body may be overreacting, causing histamine release, and other things that are really itchy for the dog, and then that’s going to cause the dog to itch.
Once the dog starts licking and chewing and scratching and biting, we get secondary problems love yeast and bacteria infections, which may require us to do some cytologies.
Basically, we’re looking at the cells of the skin to see if there’s yeast or bacteria, because they’re treated extremely differently. We own so numerous amazing drugs now to assist fight with allergies. We own two new medications; one is a pill that is a non-steroidal pill that really helps to block the reaction of itch, and another one is an injectable drug that also helps with the overresponse that an allergic dog displays.
These drugs are amazing and such a lifesaver for a dog’s quality of life, but they do require that we make certain that infections are cleared up, and that we’ve done a beautiful thorough workup before doing any of these medications.
So bottom line is this: Most allergies are contact allergies. There are definitely a percentage of dogs that own food allergies also. Some of them can own a combination of every of the above, but I ponder if you went into a pet store, you’d discover that fairly often telling you, you own to purchase this certain helpful of food, and really rarely is that what should happen.
You don’t really desire to get your health information from a 16 year ancient pet store employee; not that there’s anything incorrect with them, but they don’t generally own the eight years of school that assist us to make a better plan for your puppy or your dog in choosing the best medications.
So, if your dog is having itching, scratching problem, most importantly, just get to the vet. Own them start working your dog up and discover the best way to get your dog’s skin under control.
Reduce the allergens and your symptoms
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.
If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:
Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
3. Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells).
Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
4. Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander.
Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.
5. Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.
Dog Allergy Symptoms
While not generally life threatening, allergies in dogs do cause discomfort.
Most symptoms are associated with dermatologic problems but some can also lead to chronic respiratory issues in some dogs if untreated for endless periods of time. Sometimes an owner will bring their dog to a veterinary appointment, suspecting a serious medical condition and finish up finding out that their canine companion has an allergy.
Here are some allergy symptoms commonly found in dogs:
- Compulsive scratching
- Frequent sneezing and/or wheezing
- Regularly rubbing body or body parts against the ground, walls, furniture, etc.
- Periodic chewing on the same or diverse body parts or areas
- Excessive licking
- Skin irritation/fur loss
Most allergies develop in the second year of life for dogs.
In the first year, the dog will be exposed to numerous types of allergens primarily through contact with the skin. A smaller number of allergies may be caused by food (usually the protein source) and inhalant (things they breathe in that are in the air). In the second year of life, the dog’s immune system will overreact to the antigen(s) causing release of immune cells which release inflammatory substances ( such as histamine) which lead to symptoms of itching. Rarely is a dog allergic to just one thing. Most allergic dogs are born with a less than optimal skin barrier which allows for antigens to enter the skin more easily.
Dogs that suffer from allergies own abnormal skin and a less than optimal immune response which allows for secondary infections to happen. Typically, dogs do not suffer from a single allergy, but instead, dogs with sensitivities to allergens own a host of issues. You must understand that dog allergies are due to a complicated set of issues that tends to change as the dog’s environment changes.
Because these symptoms can own several possible causes, we recommend making a veterinary appointment immediately if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the above symptoms.
Early diagnosis and treatment of dog allergies not only increases the likelihood of your dog’s treatment being successful, but can also be less expensive than delaying treatment. The longer you wait, the more your dog suffers and more severe the secondary infections can become.