Allergy season is upon us. And the same pollens and house dust that cause allergic reactions in people often cause allergic dermatitis in dogs and cats. Allergic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin. It can be caused by many things, but regardless of the source, the end result can be licking, scratching, maybe even hair loss, but definitely discomfort for your pet.
What can you do?
Your veterinarian may try to help manage your pet’s allergy by numerous methods including injections, oral medications, nutritional management, topical shampoos, dips, ointments and environmental treatments.
At home, you can provide plenty of clean water (your veterinarian may even recommend distilled water). If your vet has performed a biopsy or prescribed a medicine, be certain to closely follow instructions for care and activity restrictions. Use environmental sprays and foggers only as directed. And watch you pet closely for signs that the condition is recurring. Do not hesitate to call the clinic if questions or problems arise.
Nutrition can impact pets with food allergy and dietary fatty acid therapy has been used in pets with allergic skin disease or pets with pruritis or dermatitis.
Discover more about the benefits of Science Diet® Sensitive Skin® for your pet or consult your veterinarian about the effectiveness of Prescription Diet formulas for treating more severe cases of allergy induced dermatitis.
Heartworms can be prevented. Because this disease is frequently fatal, you should take the steps your veterinarian recommends to keep your pet from catching heartworms. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and while dogs are the usual victims of the disease, cats are also susceptible. Your vet can prescribe a heartworm preventive and recommend the appropriate testing and preventative schedule for your pet. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat or dog has heartworms, Prescription Diet® h/d is often used for pets with this condition.
If your pet is allowed outdoors, complete elimination of fleas is often impossible. A more realistic goal is flea control, especially in warmer parts of the country. Flea control requires controlling the life cycle of the flea. There are many new, highly effective topical or oral products available today and your veterinarian can recommend which is most appropriate for your pet and household. Environmental treatment can shorten the time for complete flea control. Frequent vacuuming removes flea eggs in rugs and carpeting (promptly dispose of the vacuum bag). Laundering your pet’s bedding is also advised. Premise sprays or foggers may also be recommended by your veterinarian. Preventative measures taken before you see fleas can save you and your pet a lot of discomfort.
Ticks spread diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrilichiosis, etc. People and pets can contract these diseases, so ticks are a serious concern. During tick season, check your pet daily for ticks. Prompt removal can help prevent the spread of tick borne illness (wear gloves when removing ticks). Keep your pet from roaming through tall grasses and woods. Keep the grass around your home cut short, and spray the yard with pesticides for tick removal. If your veterinarian feels your dog is at risk, he or she can vaccinate against Lyme Disease and recommend effective tick control products.