Think your pet has allergies or is having an allergic reaction? Itching, scratching, and hot spots are all signs of allergies and skin conditions in pets. Pet allergies are very common and treatable, but if left untreated they can fester and become serious health concerns.
Pets like dogs and cats typically experience three different types of allergies:
In a skin test, we shave an area of fur on your pet and inject small amounts of the various allergens under your animal’s skin that your animal may encounter in their normal environment.
In a blood or serum test, a vial of your pet’s blood will be taken and analyzed in our laboratory for which allergens specific to your pet’s environment could be causing the allergic reaction.
In order to test for a food allergy, your pet will have to eat a specialized, prescription diet for 12 weeks. No table food and no treats. After your pet’s symptoms go away, you will begin adding old food back into their diet in order to determine which ones are causing problems. Because the prescription diet includes specific instructions on creating balanced meals, our doctors will create a plan for you to follow to ensure your pet receives important nutrients while remaining on the specialized diet.
Environmental allergens may be specific to certain regions of Winchester, and Frederick counties. Some common pet irritants include
Once the allergens have been identified we can develop a program to eliminate the source of the allergy in your pet’s environment.
Previously, the only available treatment that would provide dogs with rapid relief from itching was steroids. But steroids come with potential side effects when used long-term. Apoquel is a new treatment for itching that can be used as a short-term treatment for flare ups and is also safe to use long-term, which makes it a good alternative to steroids.
Immunotherapy is also available to treat environmental allergies that cannot be avoided by creating a serum, based on the results on the serum allergy test, which is injected on a decreasing schedule as the pets’ immunity grows.
Cyclosporine therapy, an immunosuppressive agent used to treat diseases and disorders caused by an overactive immune system, is another option we can discuss.
We will explain your pet’s condition, how to prevent future allergy occurrences and the proper method of home treatment for pet allergies.