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 so our pets can remain comfortable. There are a variety of tools to support this effort.

EXTERNAL TOOLS

With the itch-scratch cycle, skin trauma happens quickly. Medicated shampoos have active ingredients that treat skin issues. Pramoxine Anti-Itch Shampoo and Spray removes or neutralizes pollens and soothes the skin irritation that is caused by pollens. Pramoxine is an excellent treatment for hot spots and skin rubbing irritation, which are both allergy season issues. Both of these issues can increase when your pet is active during the summer.

During allergy season, you can use the Pramoxine shampoo as a weekly maintenance bath or as a treatment when sudden digging and scratching starts. Regularly bathing removes allergens that cause the itch and gives your pet relief.

Between baths, Pramoxine Anti-Itch Spray helps stop the itch and neutralize pollen on the skin. You can’t bathe your pet constantly, but using the Pramoxine 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 areas daily for relief.

Lawn chemicals are sprayed on most lawns at one time or another. If animals 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®.

INSIDE-OUT TOOLS

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 Care before and during the season can help improve skin resistance to irritation. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect on irritation. Doc Roy's® Tri Omega 3 can give relief when scratching is at its worst.

Pets 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. 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 tools will raise your pet’s resistance while keeping hair coat and skin comfortable and 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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