It’s that time again!
It’s the itchy, scratchy, licky, red feet, watery eyes, sneezy, ear infection time of year! Allergies are back. Some pets and people suffer from allergies year round while others are most affected with seasonal allergies at certain times of year. There are many factors that contribute to the signs and symptoms that we see in pets with allergies. Some pets are allergic to pollens, some have allergies to environmental allergens (the causative agent for allergies, such as dust mite dander), and some have food sensitivities. These different allergies can add up and push a pet over the ‘itch threshold’ where we start to see them licking and scratching.
What do we do about this? Ideally, finding the cause of allergies is the best way to control the signs at their source, but this is sometimes difficult. For pets with year round allergies, allergy testing and treatment can provide significant relief. However, for pets with seasonal allergies, symptomatic and temporary solutions can provide enough relief. Bathing a pet with soothing shampoos can physically remove allergens such as pollens from their skin and fur. Topical treatments designed to improve the skin barrier are added to help make the skin more robust and resistant to the start of the itch cycle. Recently there have been some great improvement in medications available to stop itching – no longer are we limited to antihistamines that don’t work well and steroids! While these may sometimes be needed, new oral medications (such as Apoquel) and injectables (such as Cytopoint) can be used seasonally instead. If your pet is suffering from allergies, give us a call and we can help you decide if Apoquel or Cytopoint is the right choice for you and your itchy pet!