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Posts Tagged: itching

Signs and Treatments of Allergies in Dogs and Cats

dog scratching allergiesWhen we think of allergies, especially during springtime, we think of people sneezing and coughing with watery, itchy eyes.  Dogs and cats, however, don’t experience the same signs. They often show the following signs:

  • Rubbing at face
  • Scratching at ears
  • Chewing paws
  • Scratching at armpits
  • Chewing over the tail, behind the ears, and in the groin region
  • Gastrointestinal signs- vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss

The signs causing your pet’s discomfort depend on the cause of the allergy.  Food, fleas, and environmental materials can all cause reactions.  The most common allergens that affect dogs and cats are the ones that affect us, too.  These are called

The most common allergens that affect dogs and cats are the ones that affect us, too.  These are called inhaled allergies or atopy:

  • Molds
  • Pollens
  • Grasses
  • Trees

At Cypress Creek Pet Care, we are using the latest products to help ease your pet’s suffering.

Apoquel, an oral pill, has proven very effective in dogs to block the itchy symptoms from inhaled allergens.  Given twice daily to start, then daily to maintain, we have found over 80 percent of dogs receive benefit.

Cytopoint, an injection for dogs, is newer on the market and has a different mechanism of action than Apoquel.  It is injected monthly at the clinic and directly helps the immune system fight the allergens that are inhaled.

You may have noticed the lack of pet allergy products for cats.  Most products are not studied in cats. Our doctors at Cypress Creek Pet Care can recommend other products to help your kitty.  Transitioning your cat to an ‘indoor cat’ can help; however, it’s important to remember we all breathe air and our homes are not air tight.  We also bring in pollens and molds on our clothes.

cat allergies, cat itchingThe next common cause of allergies is reactions to fleas.  Any pet can react to a single flea bite.  But you don’t see any fleas?  What about a person that is allergic to bee stings – all it takes is one!  That person is not surrounded by bees, but imagine if that person was bitten daily; even weekly?

How can we prevent reactions to fleas?

  • Topical products like Frontline, Advantage are very useful: These can create oily residue on the pet.  They also can fade with frequent washing and bathing
  • Oral products have become more popular: At Cypress Creek Pet Care, we recommend Nexgard and Trifexis for dogs and Revolution for cats.  Ask your veterinarian for more information on oral pet allergy treatment options.
  • Treating your house and yard: While helpful when infested, one to two fleas can be missed, lay eggs, and the cycle continues while your pet suffers.  Premise treatment alone is not effective.
  • Bathing and dipping: This style of treatments removes the fleas from the pet for that moment. Chemicals in these products can also absorb into the pet and the person using them.  They have no repellent activity.

Less common are food allergies.  Food allergies in dogs and cats only make up about five to 10 percent of the cases of allergies.  If your pet seems to have a reaction to a certain type of food does NOT mean the food is poor quality.  The pet is likely reacting to an ingredient or ingredients in that food.  Signs to look for can be:

  • Itchiness similar to inhaled allergens
  • Gastrointestinal signs:
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Itchy rear

“Ears and rears” is a popular phrase dermatologists give to food allergies.

How do we figure this out?  Our pets need to eat. This is the hard part – a few things to try if your pet is shying away from their food.

  • Put the pet on a single protein and single carbohydrate food
    • The protein and carbohydrate have to have never been fed before
  • No treats, no flavored toys during the trial
  • Trials can take 2-3 months

Think about a person with a peanut allergy.  They react to ANY peanut, no matter how small. The food allergic pet is similar.  So, during the trial, to make sure of a correct diagnosis, we have to be very strict.

After the trial, a new protein or carbohydrate can be added every one to two weeks.  If a reaction occurs, we recommend eliminating that particular food.

This process is very difficult in multi-pet households and those with children or other family members who may not be on board with the food trial. Our veterinarians can discuss types of food and methods of doing this pet food allergy test at home.

Allergies can be very frustrating.  We hate to see our pets suffer from scratching and frequent infections.  Gastrointestinal signs are also not pleasant to watch.

Call us today at (512) 236-5665 to set up a consultation and create a plan tailored to your pet’s needs.

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I am new to Cedar Park and needed to find a new vet for my pets, one of whom has special needs. As soon as I took the tour, I was hooked. Friendly, knowledgeable staff, and the cleanest vet clinic I've been in.-Chelaine

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The staff and Dr.'s are always friendly and we are taken back almost as soon as we get there.-Anonymous

I have been coming to Dr. Schubert for 8 years and she has shown nothing but genuine concern and caring for my animals, through life and death. The staff is also personable and caring, always putting your pet first.-Anonymous

You definitely get the feeling as though they treat your pet as if it were their own.-Sean

We are new to having a fur companion and had lots of questions and concerns regarding our puppy. CCPC addressed the ones that we could remember along with what to expect and their recommendations. -Christel

My pets are part of my family, and Dr. Bouloy really understands. He and his staff are always caring and never too busy to make me and my furry babies feel like we are their main priority. I always leave with a comforted feeling!-Katie

We did not see a Dr...we brought our doggies for grooming and they were in need of attention! She did a GREAT job with both of them and we shall be coming on schedule now that we found her. Thank You!-Carol

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