Itchy pets can be so frustrating for a pet owner. One can feel helpless when it comes to this seasonal or perhaps year long symptom. It is important to keep in mind that an itchy pet is a symptom of an underlying allergy. Pets generally have allergies to one of three things, fleas, food, or something in the environment.
The symptoms of allergies can range from ears infections, paw licking, hot spots, or itching the various places on the body.
It can be a long process to determine what may be causing your pet to be itchy. So, discussing the history of the problem with your vet is very important. Is the itching seasonal, occur year round, what areas are affected and how severe is the itching.
Once we dicuss the history, we may recommend a food trial. A food trial would consist of feeding your pet a prescription or home cooked hypoallergenic diet. It is important to choose a prescription food because these foods are manufactured in a facility that only makes this food. An over the counter food that may have limited ingredients is still processed in the factory that makes other more mainstream varieties. We try to choose a food that has a protein your pet has never been exposed to before. Chicken and beef allergies are the most common. A food trial needs to be attempted for a minimum of 12 weeks to see the benefit and your pet cannot have any other source of food.
When treating for environmental allergies, we have to decide if it is important to determine the source of the allergy or if it makes sense to just treat the symptoms. This becomes a question of how severe and how often your pet may be suffering. Allergy shots is an option for pets that have frequent and severe symptoms and our goal is to diminish this over the course of the pet's lifespan.
When treating the symptoms of your pet's allergies, we have a variety of oral drugs that can reduce the itching. We also recommend various topical medications such as shampoos, rinses, and ears cleaners.
Allergies are a condition that has to be managed at home with the help of your vet. We are here to work with you to make your pet as comfortable and happy as possible.