Posts Tagged ‘allergy’

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Was your car covered in yellow dust this week? That’s the official sign of the beginning of Allergy Season. With that in mind, we’re re-running this article on ways you can protect your pet from allergy symptoms this Spring and Summer.


It’s that time of year again:  Sticky yellow pollen begins coating our cars, clothes, and canines. At the vet clinic, we start to see dogs and cats with itchy ears, faces, bellies, feet and rumps. Add dry, flaky skin, fur loss, excessive licking and chewing (especially at the feet), scabs, and fleas and you’ve got one unhappy furbaby.

There are some things you can do at home to ease your pet’s allergy symptoms, especially in the case of allergens that are inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

1. Keep your pet’s skin moisturized – from the outside. Dry skin allows allergens to more easily pass through the skin barrier and cause itching. Use a rehydrating shampoo (we like Hydra Pearls) plus a separate conditioning rinse or spray.

Allow the shampoo to contact your pet’s skin for 10-15 minutes. That is forever in dog-bathing time, but that’s what it takes for the shampoo to be effective.

If the shampoo is the non-lather kind (many are) don’t add more; doing so will just make rinsing it out all the more difficult. Which brings us to the next tip:

Rinse your pet’s coat thoroughly, to remove all soap. Follow with a cream rinse or leave-on conditioning spray (such as Dermal Soothe Spray.)

2. Keep your pet’s skin moisturized – from the inside. Ask your vet about powder or capsule-type Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplements, like Free Form Snip Tips. Skip the fish oil supplements designed for human use; your pet has its own EFA requirements that can’t be met with a human product.

3. Rinse your pet with plain water to remove allergens, daily if necessary. Most pets won’t need a full-blown sudsy bath daily or even weekly. But a cool water rinse can help take the heat off, as well as physically remove pollens that can cause your pet to itch. If a daily rinse is not realistic, try targeting your pet’s problem areas with a damp cloth, especially after your pet has been outdoors.

4. Apply your pet’s monthly flea treatment every month, even if you aren’t seeing fleas (which means the treatment is working!) For a hyper-allergic pet, a single flea bite can touch off a serious inflammatory response.

For more complex issues, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication may be necessary. Your vet may also suggest a six-month elimination diet to rule in or out food allergies. A trip to the veterinary dermatologist may also be in order, especially for young animals that will be dealing with lifelong allergy problems.

If your pet is suffering from allergy symptoms, schedule a vet visit to get recommendations and treatments tailor-made for your dog or cat. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating allergic pets, so be prepared for some amount of experimentation to see which method gives your pet the most relief.

NOTE: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any diseases, or take the place of a client-patient-veterinarian relationship. If you have questions about your pet’s health, your veterinarian will be your best source of information.

This post originally appeared on August 27, 2013.

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     Have you noticed sores or “acne” on your dog or cat’s chin?  If your pet is eating or drinking from plastic bowls, it could have an allergy to the petroleum in the dishes.  Plastic allergies can lead to mild or severe sores at the lips, chin, and nose.    Quick fix:  swap out all plastic bowls for stainless steel or crockery (make sure it’s food-safe and not lead-based.)  Ask for Dermalone topical antibiotic at our clinic and apply this pet-specific ointment to the sore area 3 to 4 times a day.

     If your pet continues to have sores, also check for and remove plastic and rubber toys.  Inform the veterinarian if the problem persists or if you see signs of infection, such as pus, swelling, inflammation, or bleeding.  Sometimes other allergens or bacteria are the cause of the problem.  However, it is a good idea to remove plastics first, so they won’t exacerbate any existing allergy or bacterial infection.  ~~  Jen

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