Dog Allergy Treatments are a Dime a Dozen

Dog Allergy Treatments are a Dime a Dozen

Dog Allergy Treatments Are a Losing Battle

Dog allergy treatments are frustrating.

Frustrating for you, for your dog, and for the veterinarian!

Veterinarians recommend a variety of medicines to combat allergies.

Since one medicine does not work for all dogs, the frustration continues.

Why?

Because the treatment of dog skin problems is a constant battle.

It’s a battle you can only control, not win.

You Can Only Control the Symptoms, Not Win the Battle

Remember The Little Engine That Could and “I think I can, I think I can?”

Well, that’s how we all feel trying to control and treat dog skin allergies.

We think we can. But, we’re just disappointed when Rover returns with another rash on his belly.

There are so many treatment options available!

A decent first-line dog allergy medicine I frequently recommend is Benadryl. 

Benadryl at 1mg per pound of body weight two to three times per day often does the trick.

However, there are some disadvantages to Benadryl.

One disadvantage is that it rarely provides consistent relief.

And, your dog will usually become drowsy and lethargic with its use.

Another drug frequently prescribed by veterinarians that is similar to Benadryl is Hydroxyzine.

Both medicines are antihistamines.

What next?

Steroids: Most Commonly Used for Dog Allergy Treatments

Steroids have a bad reputation when it comes to allergies because of the potential side effects.

The common side effects of steroids are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Panting
  • Weight gain
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Liver enzyme elevations

Budesonide, one of the newer steroids, reportedly has fewer side effects than other commonly used steroid preparations. Great!

But, if you want a great dog sneezing treatment or profound relief from scratching, then steroids are the way to go.

Topical steroid sprays are liquid gold when it comes to suppressing itching in confined areas such as between the legs or over the base of the tail.

Common names of steroids include prednisone, budesonide, and dexamethasone.

Used properly and judiciously, steroids provide rapid and sustained relief from all common symptoms of dog allergies.

If steroids are used consistently, though, your pet will encounter side effects.

Cyclosporine

Another common treatment for dog allergies is cyclosporine, an immunosuppressive drug.

Used for all types of immunosuppressive diseases, cyclosporine, marketed under the brand name Atopica, is usually well-tolerated and seems to ameliorate many allergy symptoms, especially scratching and self-mutilation.

Immunotherapy

Unfortunately, some unlucky dogs ultimately need to be referred to a dermatologist for treatment.

In most circumstances, the dermatologist will recommend specific allergy testing either through a blood test or intradermal injection(s).

Then, after discovering the main allergens affecting your dog, the dermatologist will formulate a specific injectable allergen extract.

This extract and the subsequent treatment are called immunotherapy.

Intradermal skin testing and subsequent immunotherapy is a specific treatment for an individual animal and is considered the gold standard for diagnosis and treatment of canine allergies.

However, roughly 25-35% of dogs are non-responders and therefore gain little benefit from this treatment.

So, what are some other common dog allergy treatments?

  • Benadryl or Hydroxyzine
  • Baths
  • Steroids both oral and topical
  • Cyclosporine (Atopica)
  • Herbs
  • Food
  • Supplements (Omega-3)
  • Apoquel

I know most of you have tried at least a few of these remedies.

Which dog allergy solutions have you tried?

Which ones were successful and which were unsuccessful?

Let us know in the comment section below!

Powerful Tools for Overcoming Dog Allergies

There are many quick and easy changes you can make at home to help you give your dog an edge on easing allergy challenges.

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