Because Spring is primetime for pet allergies, we wanted to put the spotlight on the fact that, just like you, pets can have adverse reactions to the environment. Have you noticed your pet itching more as the weather warms? Maybe you’ve watched your best friend wheezing or suffering through a runny nose this time of year.
Like humans, pets can be allergic to grass, dust, pollen and other environmental allergens. Symptoms of allergies in pets are similar to ours and may include:
- Runny nose
- Watery, itchy and/or red eyes
- Itchy, flaky and/or red skin
If your pet is displaying any of the above signs, your Garden Valley veterinarian will most likely recommend allergy testing. This testing typically takes two forms: intradermal skin testing or serum testing. Intradermal skin testing involves your veterinarian shaving a portion of your pet’s fur away to expose the skin. Your vet will then use a small needle to inject the suspected allergens under your pet’s skin and observe the area, looking for bumps, hives, or redness and pinpointing the offending allergen.
Serum testing is performed in the lab with a sample of your pet’s blood. It works on the same principle, by process of elimination. Once the testing is complete, your veterinarian will come up with a course of treatment for your pet.
In certain cases, a few lifestyle changes might be all that’s required. Frequent baths can remove allergens from your pet’s coat and wiping his feet before he comes inside can keep him from tracking allergens indoors. You should also vacuum and dust your home regularly to keep it allergen-free.
In more serious cases, though, your pet might require medication to help them cope with allergies. Our Garden Valley Veterinary Hospital team has seen the proven effectiveness of two products: Apoquel and Cytopoint.
Apoquel is an oral medication that targets the small proteins that cause allergic itch an inflammation in dogs. It’s safe for canines 12 months and older. It’s also safe-acting, bringing relief to dogs in roughly four hours after ingestion, and can be used on an on-going basis with few side effects.
Cytopoint is an injection that lasts four-eight weeks and works by neutralizing a common itch-inducing protein. Cytopoint is safe for dogs of all ages and provides relief in a little under 24 hours.
If you think your pet might be suffering from allergies, call us at 970-674-5105 or request an appointment online. We’ll work together to make your pet comfortable and get them back to enjoying the great outdoors again!