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Allergies in Dogs

For those of you who have dogs with allergies, which are usually evident by scratching, redness/inflammation to the skin, hair loss, chronic ear infections and feet licking these products can be a game changer for you and your pets.

Allergies/atopy are the result of an allergen which stimulates the body’s immune system causing the release of histamines and other chemicals in the body.  Once released they trigger the issues noted above.

Three common types of dog allergies include, Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), Food allergies and Environmental allergies.

Flea Allergies are an easy fix with using a flea preventative such as Bravecto, Seresto collars, Simparica, Advantix, Frontline etc.  FAD results from a flea bite injecting allergen into your dog.  Even 1 or 2 fleas can cause this reaction.  Talk with your veterinarian about which is best for your pet.

Food allergies and Environmental allergies are more challenging to treat.  The use of antihistamines such as hydroxyzine, Benadryl and even Zyrtec and Claritin have not been that beneficial in dogs in my experience.  Trying to avoid allergens by offering a hypoallergenic diet and eliminating environmental exposure to pollens are difficult to do. 

Since no one likes to be inside on a beautiful day here are some good treatment options.  Apoquel is a newer product which is a daily tablet given to arrest the allergic response.  This is working well for many pets.  Apoquel is a chemical medication similar to human medications used for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and cancer.  Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, decreased white blood cells and a few others.  These side effects appear to be rare but possible.  Unfortunately, Apoquel can be a little expensive to give daily.

Another newer treatment is Cytopoint.  Cytopoint is an injection given by your veterinarian every 1-2 months as needed.  What I like about Cytopoint other than the amazing results I have seen is that it is a biologic medication.  It is a protein which prevents the immune response causing the clinical signs of allergies.  Some of my patients have had life changing results.  They stopped scratching, skin inflammation decreased, hair regrew, chronic ear issues resolved and they have a comfortable life finally.  Cytopoint has very few side effects as it is a biologic medication and does not stress the liver or kidneys.  

It is so nice to see our pets finally free of the nonstop itching and other signs associated with allergies.  They are more comfortable and as anyone who has a dog with allergies it stresses us as well watching them.  We can all sleep easier.  
Dr. Glenn Buckley, DVM
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