Itching? Scratching? Biting? Licking?
How to Effectively Manage Your Dog’s Skin Allergies
Watching your dog attempting to get relief from skin allergies by constantly scratching, biting, and licking, you know how painful it must be for your pet. Like people, our dogs can suffer allergic reactions to food, dust, pollen, mold, mites, and grass. The good news is we have effective options to provide relief and manage skin allergies. Keep in mind, every situation can be different. If your dog is affected by any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact us for an evaluation and course of treatment based on your specific dog’s condition.
Corticosteroids (“cortisone”) have been used for decades and withstood the test of time. Corticosteroids are non-specific in their mechanism of action, since corticosteroid receptors are in every cell, and therefore affect all body systems. Possible side effects of corticosteroids include increased thirst, increased urination, panting, thinning of skin, increased susceptibility to infection, and in rare cases can cause diabetes. Steroids can also worsen other underlying diseases such as heart disease and kidney disease. These drugs can be great at decreasing the inflammation associated with allergies, but long-term treatment is not recommended. They are more appropriate for short courses to battle flare ups in patients that were well-controlled on another long term allergy therapy.
So what is safe to treat our pet’s allergic itch long term??
No single therapy is 100% effective at treating environmental allergies, but we have a couple of great options:
CYTOPOINT® is a safe, effective, long-lasting treatment for
chronic itch due to allergic or atopic dermatitis
. It is an injection that is given by your veterinarian that targets itch at its source. A single CYTOPOINT injection helps relieve chronic dog itch for up to 8 weeks,* making the treatment of allergic skin condition easier for you to manage. CYTOPOINT is beneficial for dogs with owners who may not see well enough to give a pill or may forget to give it every day.
CYTOPOINT is safe to use in dogs of any age. It can also be used in dogs on many other commonly used medications, or dogs with other diseases. And since CYTOPOINT is not a chemical-based treatment, it does not put pressure on the liver and kidneys.
CYTOPOINT works like your dog’s own immune system. It is specifically designed to target and neutralize one of the main proteins that send itch signals to your dog’s brain that triggers scratching, licking, and chewing. CYTOPOINT blocks signals that trigger itch, so the constant scratching can stop, and red, irritated skin can heal. In fact, in a study, CYTOPOINT helped damaged skin begin to heal within 7 days.
For more information on CYTOPOINT visit their website
APOQUEL is a daily oral tablet that starts providing itch relief within 4 hours; APOQUEL works differently than steroids. APOQUEL (also known as oclacitinib) stops allergic dogs itching within hours, by disrupting the itch and inflammation pathway. The drug inhibits the Janus kinase (JAK) 1 enzyme – a protein that sparks itching and inflammation. Side effects reported most often are vomiting and diarrhea.
For more information on APOQUEL visit their website
In addition to these core therapies there are a few other key ingredients to managing allergies. Every allergy patient is different—different allergies, primary signs, and secondary problems—so every treatment needs to be different, too.
- Provide adequate flea control. Any allergy (e.g. flea, food, seasonal) can cause other allergies to get worse—it can kick start inflammation. So ensure that fleas are a nonissue by making sure your dogs are receiving appropriate flea control.
- Eliminate infections. Eliminating infections (ear and skin) reduces itchiness and inflammation while also improving the dog’s odor and appearance. Dogs with allergies may be slower to respond to antibiotics than dogs without allergies are, so check progress after three weeks of antibiotic therapy but treat until infections are gone.
If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms associated with skin allergies (e.g. constant scratching, biting, licking, etc.), we can help! Call us at
967-7383 to schedule an appointment.
Don’t let your dog suffer another day - help them find the relief they need today!