Pet Allergy Awareness
Did you know itchy feet or recurrent ear infections in your pet could be a sign of allergies? Unlike humans, pets rarely manifest allergies as runny eyes and sneezing. Just like us, pets can be allergic to ingredients in their food or in their environment (ex. dust mites, molds, pollen). Unfortunately, any breed can be affected.
If you’re concerned your pet has allergies, get help! Being itchy is very uncomfortable! Your vet will help eliminate fleas and other external parasites as the cause and may discuss further work up to uncover the cause of the itch. In addition to other oral and topical treatments (like shampoos or ointments), they may recommend medications to help stop the itch signal itself. The most common medications prescribed for the itchiness associated with allergies in dogs are Apoquel and Cytopoint. Apoquel is a once or twice daily pill and Cytopoint is an injection given under the skin that lasts multiple weeks depending on the pet. Your vet may also discuss a food allergy elimination trial to help your pet if they are allergic to something in the food. Food allergies to proteins are the most common.
Sometimes your doctor may recommend consult with a veterinary dermatologist for special intradermal (in the skin) or blood testing. In this way, your dermatologist can tell more specifically which allergen your pet is reacting to. Dermatologists may sound expensive, but recurrent trips to your family vet for allergy flairs really add up and lifelong itch relief for your pet is worth it!