Scratching Dog

Solving Allergy Problems this Summer

No matter what part of the country you are in, allergy problems always seem to get worse in June. Allergens come in all forms: grass, trees, flower pollen, bug bites, fleas and more. Your pet's immune system will build a natural “wall of resistance” but sometimes the allergens build up and spill over the wall. Since your pet can no longer tolerate these allergens, they'll scratch and lick at the irritated areas. Scratching only increases the itch, so they'll scratch again until the area is raw. During allergy season, it's our responsibility to keep up this wall of resistance up so your pets can remain comfortable. There are a variety of tools to support this effort.


With the itch-scratch cycle, skin trauma happens quickly. Medicated shampoos have active ingredients that treat skin issues. Pramoxine HCI Shampoo and Spray removes or neutralizes pollens and soothe the skin irritation that is caused by the pollens. During allergy season you can use the shampoo and spray as a weekly maintenance bath or as a treatment when sudden digging and scratching starts. Regularly bathing removes allergens that cause the itch and give your pet relief.

Between baths, Pramoxine HCI Spray helps stop the itch and neutralize pollen on the skin. You can’t bathe your pet constantly, but using the Pramoxine HCl Spray when an area needs extra attention in between baths is a good option. Spray as soon as the pet has increased scratching and also spray any irritated area’s daily for relief. Pramoxine is an excellent treatment for hot spots and skin rubbing irritation which are both allergy season issues and these issues can increase when your pet is active during the summer.

Lawn chemicals are sprayed on most lawns at one time or another. If dogs walk through sprayed grass, they get irritated feet from the chemical contact. Treatment involves removing the chemical with shampoo, then spraying red or irritated feet with Pramoxine Spray or ResiCORT®.


Fatty acids have long been known to support hair coat quality and skin health which can help your pet resist allergies. Doc Roy’s® DERMA COAT PLUS is designed with Omega 3 & 6 for optimum skin health. Using Derma Coat Plus before and during the season can help improve skin resistance to irritation. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect on irritation and Doc Roy's® TRI OMEGA 3 can give relief when scratching is at its worst.

Dogs with allergies may also go on antihistamines to stop the reaction and raise the resistance wall to allergens. Antihistamines can be a big allergy season help. They have few side effects and are inexpensive. Your veterinarian can give you guidance in using them effectively as part of your prevention plan.

Severe cases may require prescription steroids, but steroids do have side effects. It is best to manage allergies without them for as long as possible and use steroids as a “silver bullet” when scratching becomes too traumatic to tolerate. Atopica is a prescription treatment that provides long term management with fewer side effects than steroid. All are good at stopping the itch-scratch response.

There is no “magic pill” for allergies but a few allergy tools will raise your pet’s resistance while keeping hair coat and skin comfortably healthy all allergy season long.

If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
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