Can you share some insights on dog allergies?

Dogs can suffer from allergies just like humans. They can be allergic to everything from pollens, weeds, molds, trees, grass, dust mites, and even cat dander. In some rare cases, dogs can be allergic to their own humans. This can lead to symptoms such as scratching, itching, ear infections, and even chronic diarrhea. These allergies can be seasonal, recurrent, or even last all year round.

Dr. Jo Goodman
Evendale-Blue Ash Pet Hospital

Can you explain how these allergies manifest in dogs?

When a dog is exposed to an allergen, it absorbs it through its skin and the immune system reacts inappropriately. This is why the most common signs are scratching, itching, and ear infections. Some dogs might also exhibit behaviors such as reverse sneezing or scratching at specific parts of their body. A classic sign of flea allergies, for example, is scratching at their back end.

How does this impact pet owners?

Seeing your pet constantly scratching or being miserable is distressing. It pulls at the heartstrings and makes you want to fix it right away. Unfortunately, there isn't a quick fix or a way to cure allergies which can be frustrating for pet owners. The pets' behaviors, like scratching and licking, can keep them up at night, adding to the frustration.

Is there a way to treat these allergies?

Although there is no cure, there are ways to manage allergies. There are medications such as Cytopoint and Apoquel which have been game changers for pets with allergies. We also use supplements and soothing topical shampoos. We recommend a standard process, which can be discussed with the office staff. In certain cases, the pet can be referred to a dermatologist for further tests. A specific cocktail of allergy shots can be created based on skin testing to help manage the symptoms.

Any other advice for pet owners dealing with pet allergies?

The process of diagnosing and treating pet allergies can be a long and challenging journey. However, we are here to support you through it. It's also important to note that other conditions such as hypothyroidism, can also cause skin problems. So, it's crucial to have your pet examined and start going down the pathway of diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

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