Aug 21, 2014

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Dog Itchy? Time for a Trip to the Animal Hospital

Is Your Dog Itchy? Time for a Trip to the Animal Hospital

One of the most common reasons for visits to the local animal hospital is due to allergies. Unlike people, dogs that are allergic to pollens and other environmental allergens will become VERY itchy – licking/chewing at their feet, rear end, and scratching/rubbing their ears.

What to Expect
An exam for an itchy dog will typically involve a few simple tests to rule out specific causes such as fleas, mites, and infection. Often times, dogs will get bacterial and/or yeast infections secondary to the inflamed skin. The more your dog licks, bites and scratches, the worse the infection becomes and the itchier they get. If your dog has an infection the veterinarian will likely prescribe one or more medications. There are a variety of products that can help stop the itch. There is no “one size fits all” so it’s important to discuss the options with the doctor.

Food Allergies
In addition to environmental allergies, dogs are very prone to food allergies. Determining the cause requires patience because the only good way to find out what food they are allergic to is by trial and error. Your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet to rule out food allergies. Typically it will take at least eight weeks to see a positive response.

Dermatology and Natural Medicine
Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, your veterinarian at the animal hospital or clinic may refer you to a dermatologist and/or a vet with special training in natural medicine. A dermatologist can perform allergy testing to determine exactly what your pet is allergic to. Once this is determined, they can create an injection specific for your pet to desensitize them to these allergens. A veterinarian with such training may use a combination of diet, and supplementation to provide your pet with immediate and long-term relief.

A Note on Fleas
All dogs should be on an appropriate flea preventative. Even if your pet does NOT have fleas, all it takes is ONE bite from a flea to create a significant allergic reaction. There are products that kill fleas before they have a chance to bite!

The cause of allergies can sometimes be difficult to evaluate, but hang in there! There are many options and alternatives available.

OC Vet Med Center is a full service animal hospital in Orange County, California. For more information, go to Ocvetmedcenter.com.

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