Dogs can get all kinds of different allergies. It might sound strange, but they can get runny eyes and sneezing fits, just like people do. Canine allergies can also be characterized by a range of other symptoms, including scabs or other skin complaints, itchy ears, increased scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive licking or chewing of various body parts. If you suspect that your canine companion is suffering from allergies, you should take her to see her vet right away. Some allergies can be serious, and even minor ones cause a good deal of discomfort. There are a number of veterinary treatments that may be prescribed for dog allergies.
The best way to rid your dog of allergies is prevention. If your pup’s vet can figure out what she’s allergic to, then it’s a simple matter of removing the allergen. For instance, if she’s allergic to a certain type of food, all you’ll have to do is stop feeding it to her. That said some allergens, such as pollen, are harder to keep out of your dog’s life.
Depending on what kind of allergy she’s suffering from, your vet might prescribe your dog anti-histamines. However, the fact is that these are only effective in around 30 percent of all canine allergy cases. If your dog falls into this group, it’s a relatively safe and cheap way to treat allergies.
Some dogs respond well to Omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment for allergies. This might sound unusual, but they’ve been found to reduce the effects of chemicals, such as histamines, that a dog’s body releases in response to allergies. Make sure that you consult your veterinarian before using Omega-3s to treat allergies, as they will be able to recommend a suitable therapeutic dose.
In cases of severe allergies, your vet might prescribe your dog cortisone. This can either come as a topical cream, an injection or a tablet. While it is effective, it’s a strong medication with a list of side-effects, so it should only be used on a short-term basis or when completely necessary.
A number of topical treatments, such as shampoos and soaks, can provide relief for those dogs presenting with itchiness or other skin complaints. While they only offer short-term relief, these kinds of treatments work right away, so are perfect for instant alleviation of symptoms, in conjunction with a more long-term treatment.
If your dog suffers from an allergy to something that is impossible to avoid, many vets will suggest immunotherapy. This is a kind of treatment which gradually desensitizes your dog to the problem allergen. Once it’s been determined what your pooch is allergic to, a special injection is prepared and administered by a veterinarian, either monthly or weekly. Gradually, your dog will build up a tolerance to the offending allergen and it will no longer cause a reaction. While it can be a costly and lengthy process, it has a success rate of about 80 percent.
For a severe allergy, steroids can reduce inflammation and offer relief from the symptoms. It’s important to note that these are corticosteroids, which are which different from the anabolic steroids that can be used as illegal performance enhancers; don’t expects your dog to get ripped! While effective, steroids are strong and, like cortisone, come with a laundry list of unwanted side-effects. As such, they’re only used in serious cases and should only be prescribed on a short-term basis.
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.