APOQUEL CAN!Is your dog an obsessive licker? Does he frequently scratch or scoot across the floor? Just like humans, dogs can overreact to harmless allergens in the air, sneezing and itching as a result. A mild antiseptic spray will help treat hot spots. Your vet can also provide prescription products. There are four main types of allergy in dogs:
New Drug for Allergies in Dogs May be Just What the Doctor Ordered | petMD
Pets with allergies to pollen, grass, or dust are affected with atopic dermatitis, or atopy. People with allergies have symptoms such as runny eyes and sneezing, but animals with allergies more commonly show symptoms such as scratching, licking of the feet, and recurrent skin and ear infections. These symptoms can occur only during certain seasons, if the main offending allergens are seasonal pollens, but can occur all year round if the allergens persist in the environment year round such as housedust mites and human dander.
Atopic dermatitis typically starts in dogs between the ages of 6 months to 5 years, and can occur at any time of life in cats. In dogs, there is an increased incidence of allergies in certain breeds such as terriers, Cocker spaniels, Labradors, golden retrievers, Shar peis, and German shepherds, but any dog breed can be affected. The diagnosis of atopy is made by considering the symptoms, seasonality, and response to medications, and by ensuring no other similar itchy skin diseases such as food allergy, skin parasites, or skin infections are present.
Once the clinical diagnosis of atopy has been made, the treatment options include treatment of allergic symptoms with topical and oral medications, or to perform allergy testing and desensitization injections to treat the underlying cause of the itching. Allergic animals with mild or very seasonal symptoms can often be managed by just using medications to treat their symptoms. Symptomatic medications include topical products such as shampoos, conditioners, and sprays, as well as oral medications such as antihistamines, fatty acids, steroids, and cyclosporin.
Shampoos, conditioners and sprays used for allergies usually contain ingredients that help reduce itching such as oatmeal, topical anesthetics, antihistamines, or steroids.
Allergic dogs benefit from frequent bathing not only because of the anti-itch ingredients, but because bathing helps to reduce allergens that are accumulated on the skin and coat.
Antibacterial shampoos, conditioners and sprays ie. Weekly bathing and daily rinses or wipedowns with a wet washcloth are usually recommended. It is important that the shampoos be gentle avoid tar and benzoyl peroxide products unless the dog is very greasy so that the skin and coat do not become dry. Topical products that contain steroids such as hydrocortisone, betamethasone, and triamcinolone should be used carefully, as excessive use of topical steroids can predispose a pet to skin infections, and can cause the skin to become excessively thin or create blackheads.
No antihistamine is better or more potent than another, and multiple antihistamines often must be tried to find the best one for each individual pet. They also need to be consistently given two to three times daily for benefit, and the dose requirements for pets are usually higher than for people, so it is important to ask your veterinarian about the right dose for your pet. In some pets, side effects can occur such as sleepiness or excitation. When buying over the counter antihistamines, it is very important to select products which do not contain pain killers or decongestants.
Antihistamines may not be appropriate if pets have certain medical conditions such as seizures, glaucoma, hypertension, or urinary retention. Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids are derived from sources such as fish oil, flax oil, and vegetable oils, and they have mild anti-inflammatory effects on the skin omega 3 , as well as help to decrease skin dryness and improve the epidermal skin barrier omega 6.
They have to be given for months before a beneficial effect is seen. An oral mixture of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids appears to be ideal for treatment of allergic dermatitis in dogs, and there are multiple combination products manufactured for pets, available in capsule, powder, liquid, or chewable tablet form.
Fatty acids also work synergistically with antihistamines to help reduce allergic skin inflammation and itching. They may not be appropriate for use in pets with other medical disorders such as pancreatitis or clotting problems. Improvement of epidermal ceramides the skin lipid barrier may occur by feeding a diet rich in the omega 6 fatty acid linoleic acid. Recent research has shown that a major contributing factor for atopic dermatitis in humans and dogs is an abnormal skin barrier.
Defective lipids in the skin increase the dryness of allergic skin and allow increased penetration of allergens through the skin layers. In addition to oral fatty acid therapy, several topical lipid replacement products have been developed for animals. Dermoscent Essential 6 spot on contains linoleic acid, Douxo brand spot ons, sprays, and shampoos contain phytosphingosine, and several shampoos and sprays made by Dechra Veterinary Products contain ceramides. Although more studies are needed in dogs, preliminary investigations of these topical therapies have shown encouraging improvements in symptoms as well as decreased skin dryness in treated animals.
Injectable or oral steroids such as cortisone or prednisone have many pros and cons in the treatment of allergies in pets. They are inexpensive and work quickly and effectively to reduce itching, and for short term use they are relatively safe. However steroids have numerous side effects, such as increased thirst, increased urination, increased hunger, and weight gain. With prolonged use at high doses, steroids cause liver enlargement and increased liver enzymes, and can cause high blood pressure and kidney disease, weakened muscles and ligaments, infections of the skin and bladder, and thinning of the skin and hair loss.
Animals that are treated with long-term steroids should have physical examinations, bloodwork and urine testing regularly to monitor for side effects, and other options to treat their allergies and to reduce their dependence on steroids should be tried. Cyclosporin has fewer side effects than steroids, but because it is still an immunosuppressive drug it is the same medication used to prevent organ transplant rejection in humans , regular physical examinations with bloodwork and urine testing should be performed in pets on long term treatment.
Potential side effects include vomiting and diarrhea, and more rarely skin or internal infections and benign growths on the skin or gums.
It can be used instead of steroids to treat dogs with occasional seasonal pollen or flea allergy flares, and to control itch in allergic dogs while the underlying cause of the itch is addressed ie.
This drug is a janus kinase inhibitor, similar to the human rheumatoid arthritis medication Xeljanz. Apoquel acts to reduce production of inflammatory allergic proteins and also to reduce the sensation of itch transmitted by nerves, which no other drug does. It is intermediate in cost between steroids and cyclosporine, and acts very rapidly within hours to reduce itching.
It is given twice daily for 2 weeks, then once daily, and in both short term and longer term year studies appears so far to have very few side effects occasional GI upset.
Since this is a new drug, and since it does affect the immune system, regular examinations and labwork are still recommended.
Allergy Testing and Desensitization: Sublingual drops given orally under the tongue once or twice daily allergy hyposensitization is also newly available, and appears in preliminary investigation to be similar in effectiveness as injectable allergy immunotherapy Click on this link for more information. Allergy immunotherapy is usually a lifelong treatment and the degree of response to therapy varies with each individual animal; some pets only need the hyposensitization vaccine, some still need some symptomatic medications such as antihistamines, and some still need steroids, but at lower doses, less often or only during certain seasons.
Every animal is an individual and often different medications need to be tried or combinations of medications may need to be used for maximal comfort. When the motivated pet owner, family veterinarian and a veterinary dermatologist work together, our allergic pets can be helped to live long, comfortable lives. Click on this link for more information. Choose color black white green blue red orange yellow navi.