Dr. Ashley Greenway
Spring is upon us, which means many people are suffering from allergies. Many of our furry friends are also suffering the effects of the warmer weather and the grasses and pollens from trees and flowers that go with it. While in people, the main effects of allergies are respiratory (sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes), in dogs, allergies are most commonly shown through the skin (itchy all over the body or just the paws, butt or ears). This can manifest as nothing more than licking the feet or can be more obvious, such as scooting the rear end on the ground or scratching all over. Not only are allergies miserable for pets, (imagine being itchy all the time!), but pets with allergies are more prone to skin infections because of an abnormal skin barrier. They also get a lot of ear infections but luckily these are pretty easy to cure with the help of colloidal silver. Visit this website to find out more about this unusual but effective holistic remedy. Skin infections in dogs, on the other hand, can look like a reddish rash, pustules, darkening or thickening of the skin with a blackish color, odor or crusting and can be long-lasting.
There are many therapies for allergies to reduce itch, many with fewer side effects and safer than in years past. If there is a skin infection present, that will need to be treated as well. Unfortunately, antihistamines like Benadryl don’t work well in dogs and usually do nothing more than make them sleepy. Another more overlooked therapy is bathing with special shampoo and conditioner. Not only can this make your pet much more comfortable (and make them smell good!), it can help to restore the skin barrier to a healthy state and reduce the risk (or help eliminate) skin infections. If your pet has any symptoms of allergies, make an appointment with your vet so they can come up with an individualized plan for your pet. Be sure to ask about medicated bathing, as this will help restore the skin to a healthy state and may reduce (or in some cases eliminate) the need for other medications.
Pet allergies can be frustrating to treat and manage, but your vet can help. It is important to remember that each pet is different, and what may work for one dog may not work in another. Food allergies have many of the same symptoms as environmental allergies, so a food trial may be needed to rule that out. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find the best way to keep your pet comfortable this time of year, so be patient!