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Canine Allergies – Lasting Relief For Your Dog’s Itchy, Irritated Skin
Dog allergies are responsible for most of the chewing and itching in dogs everywhere. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to food ingredients, grass, weed and tree pollens or mold and dust mites in their environment.
Although there are many shampoos and sprays advertised to stop itchy skin of dogs, these commercial products have limited effectiveness. They may provide short-term relief, but if the source of the allergen is still present, the itching will quickly return.
Where your dog scratches and chews can help your veterinarian determine the source of the dog’s allergic reaction. Atopic dermatitis is an environmental allergy that is quite similar to human allergies. Dust mites, grass and tree pollen and other particles in the air are the cause of atopic dermatitis which affects almost 10% of dogs.
Symptoms of atopic dermatitis are licking and chewing of paws, paws that appear red and tender, hair loss and an itch so persistent that it interferes with the dog’s sleep. An effective medication is Atopica that can be used safely in the long term. Atopica does not contain steroids or cause sleep in the dog.
If your dog seems to be scratching his back and chewing the inside of his hind legs, he may be suffering from allergic flea dermatitis. The allergy is not to the flea itself, but to the release of saliva from the fleas when they bite your dog. For dogs with flea allergy dermatitis it is not enough to kill the adult fleas on the dog, but you must prevent the new fleas from hatching and biting.
Triamcinolone is often prescribed by veterinarians to treat inflammation and allergic disorders.
This is a corticosteroid and should be administered exactly as prescribed. When giving corticosteroids, it is crucial not to stop the medication without a gradual reduction of the dose. Triamcinolone is the generic name of the medication and can be prescribed as one of several brands such as Cortalone, Vetalog or TriAcet.
If your dog has food allergies, the result will most often be itching in the anal area. It is estimated that one third of dogs with food allergy symptoms are less than a year old. However, food allergy dermatitis can appear at any age and can be a problem even in a dog that has eaten the same brand of dog food for months or years.
When dogs suffer from a food allergy itching in the anal region can be accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, skin rash and flatulence. Your vet can test your dog to eliminate environmental causes of allergies and determine if secondary allergic reactions are also a problem.
Dexamethasone is a synthetic corticosteroid that can have beneficial effects, but also can cause negative side effects. Dexamethasone is commonly used in veterinary medicine and is given by injection, inhalation or topically. When used as a topical treatment, the solution may also include a miticide, antifungal or antibacterial to treat skin problems.
Corticosteroids can be life-saving medications for your dog and used carefully will ease the symptoms of allergic reactions. Veterinarians often prescribe this treatment as a daily pill. Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and are not recommended for long-term use. For canine allergies to tree and grass pollens, medications such as dexamethasone used short-term provide quick and long-lasting relief.
For dogs that require longer treatment for air allergies, Temaril-P can be prescribed by your veterinarian. This anti-inflammatory drug contains a low dose of prednisone and can be taken longer with less risk of side effects than is found with full-dose corticosteroids. Temeril-P reduces the need for the dog to scratch, which prevents the development of painful or bare areas. It is also often used to treat kennel cough or asthma as symptoms caused by canine allergies.
You may not be able to eliminate allergens from your dog’s environment, but there is a wide range of medications designed to ease or eliminate the symptoms of canine allergies.
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