Allergy Season

No matter what part of the country, 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. This only increases the itch, so they'll scratch and scratch again until the area is raw. During allergy season, it's our responsibility to keep up this wall of resistance so your pets can remain comfortable. There are a variety of ways you can do this.

Medicated shampoos offer a variety of active ingredients to treat skin conditions. These remove and neutralize pollens, soothing the skin irritation they cause. Use as a weekly maintenance bath or as a treatment when sudden digging and scratching starts. Regularly removing the allergens that cause the itch will give your pet allergy relief and support their skin health

Fatty acids have long been known to support hair coat quality and skin health, helping pets resist allergies. Recently we have also learned that fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect, which decreases the reactions allergens cause. Look for supplements with high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, as these have the most anti-inflammatory qualities. Doc Roy’s Derma Coat Care is good for skin health and you can add Doc Roy's Tri Omega 3 for extra allergy resistance if it's needed.

With the itch-scratch cycle, skin trauma happens quickly. In order to prevent the scratching cycle, you have to give them relief from the itch. Allercaine Spray or ResiCORT Lotion helps stop the itch and pets smile with relief once you put it on. These are also helpful in preventing hot spots on skin areas that rub together, which is great for dogs that frequently jog or walk with their owners.

Lawn chemicals are sprayed on most lawns at one time or another. If you let your dogs walk through the grass, they'll often get irritated feet from the chemical contact, causing the skin between the toes to be red and irritated. Treatment involves removing the chemical with medicated shampoo. If that is not enough, Allercaine or ResiCORT can also be used for relief. Be sure to wash and treat between the toes well, as that is the most sensitive area.

Dogs with allergies may go on antihistamines to stop the reaction to allergens. Antihistamine is inexpensive and comes in all forms, and your veterinarian can give you guidance in using them. Severe cases may require steroids, but since steroids have side effects, I like to manage allergies without them for as long as possible. Atopica is a prescription treatment that provides long term management with fewer side effects. All are good at stopping the Itch-scratch response.

By building up your pet's natural resistance, you can give the protection they need against the allergies that threaten their skin health and comfort!

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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