Dog Allergy Treatments

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Treating dog allergies is important to a pet's overall health and enjoyment of life. Depending on the nature and source of the allergic reaction, treatments vary. In some cases, the earlier you check with your vet regarding persistent scratching or biting, the better the chance of minimizing the necessary interventions and avoiding severe symptoms.

Dog Allergy Treatment Options

Dog allergies can result from reactions to fleas, pollen and dust, food, and as many other irritants as those that affect humans. One course of treatment can be avoidance of exposure to the allergen. That can mean flea medication, the removal of such allergens as kapok, wool, cotton, and even tobacco smoke. If your pet is allergic to grass or plants, be sure to keep him indoors when grass is being cut or raked. Hepa filters can be a help as well.

Treatment with medication is another option. A common form is cortisone, also known as steroids. Cortisone is not in the same class of drug as that used by body builders and is not as hard on pets. Generally, cortisone treatments are not long term but are used for severe flare-ups. Vets must keep a close eye on a pet's liver, stomach, and muscles in order to make sure that its use does not cause side effects. Cortisone is an effective treatment and can be one of the best methods of treating dog allergies.

Antihistamines and Antibiotics

Another dog allergy treatment can be antihistamines. These drugs are formulated to counteract the release of histamines from the mast cell, the source of itching. Generally, antihistamines are a major component of long-term allergy treatments. Pets may drink more and may be drowsy initially, but these side effects usually do not last long. Some of the antihistamines used for dogs are the same ones used for humans. Antibiotics may also be used to help a pet recover from infected itch sites.

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