Posted on

Treating Dog Allergies in the Spring

Hello friends, please watch this video to hear some great options to treat dog allergies this spring!

Hey guys, it’s Remi from Continental Animal Wellness Center. Thanks for tuning into our very first video blog. On these video blogs you’re going to be able to get an inside look at what we’re doing around the clinic, and also maybe some fun facts to keep your pet happy and healthy. Today, we’re talking about what spring has in store for us. Spring is right around the corner. That means allergies are too, not just for you but for your pets as well. It is very common for our patients to come in red and itchy, thus leaving their owner puzzled. Itching can be caused from an infection, parasites or even allergies. Just like our own allergies, dog allergies can be seasonal or year round.

It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the itch. Sometimes the food they are eating can be the cause. Also bacterial and fungal skin infections can occur secondarily to excessive scratching. There can be other symptoms beside just the persistent itch too. Other symptoms include recurring your problems, body odor, changes in skin such as sores or darken color, foot chewing and hair loss.

If it seems like something you have battled with your dog either recently or in the past, well, you are in luck. Our veterinarians are equipped with some effective and safe pet allergy medications that will put that unbearable itch to a halt. If you see any of these signs, make sure you set up an appointment with one of your veterinarians soon so we can get your pup feeling free and comfortable once more.

Options for Treating Dog Allergies in the Spring

Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Bruchman here. I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about some options. If you’re watching this video and thinking my dog is fitting all of the things that you’re talking about for springtime and summer allergies, we just need to find what’s right for your pet.

Option 1: Steroids

The first option that’s been around for a very long time is steroids. Steroids are a very nonspecific medication in their mechanism of action, meaning that they target a lot of pathways of inflammation. They are very effective. They’re very cost effective and have been around for a very long time. That is one option for your pet.

Option 2: Apoquel

The next option is a drug called Apoquel. Apoquel’s been out for quite a few years now. Apoquel is a Janus kinase inhibitor. It’s works through a pathway that targets interleukins, which are in charge of our inflammatory response and our itch response. It targets five different interleukins, including something called interleukin-31, which is directly responsible for the itch cycle that gets up to your pet’s brain and causes them to itch.

Apoquel works very quickly. Within four hours that can decrease your pets itching and can dramatically improve it by 24 hours. This medication has proven to be very effective, just as effective as our steroids, and it’s a little more targeted approach, so safer for long term use in your pet.

Option 3: Cytopoint

The newest option we have out there is actually an injectable drug called Cytopoint. Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody and it targets just that interleukin-31, none of the other interleukins. It’s very specific in what it’s doing. Cytopoint is delivered through an injection under your pet’s skin. We give it every four to eight weeks, so it’s very convenient for you as the pet owner. We no longer have to be doing daily pills. Your pet would come into the vet clinic every four to eight weeks, we would administer an injection.

That therapy works also very quickly. In my experience, it’s anywhere between a couple of days in that first month that we see pretty dramatic improvement on Cytopoint. Again, that’s our most specific therapy that we have, so very, very safe and very minimal side effects. That’s Cytopoint. That’s always a great option for your pet.

Dog Allergies & Treatments

I wanted to also touch base on why we’re talking about some of these medications. Why is it important to decrease your pet’s itch cycle? Your pet’s skin, if you look at it under the microscope, all of our allergic animals have a skin barrier, but their skin barrier looks like a brick wall. It’s missing all of that mortar in between the bricks, and so those dust pollens and allergens can get in between those bricks and cause this inflammatory cascade to start. It’s important for us to decrease that itch cycle so that doesn’t make their skin worse by more itching, and making that brick and mortar fall apart even more.

Topical Treatments for Dog Allergies

There are many things we can do topically to your pet skin as well, to help with that brick and mortar of the skin. And that’s something that we can talk about and set up a plan that’s right for your pet. Along with these anti-itch medications we talked about, it’s very important to also talk about that skin barrier and those topical medications are going to be important for that.

Choosing the Right Anti-Itch Treatment for Dog Allergies

Again, if we go back to those anti-itch medications, we’ve got our steroids, we’ve got Apoquel and we’ve got Cytopoint. Another analogy that you guys can use to think about those medications is steroids is like a shotgun. We’re going to hit our target, but we’re going to hit a lot of other things as we try to get our itch target. Apoquel would be more like a rifle. We’re hitting our target. We’re pretty specific, but we’re still maybe a little bit off to the side of where we really need to be. That Cytopoint it’s targeting just one interleukin, interleukin-31. That would be maybe like your sniper rifle out there, very accurate, very precise; the best medication we have right now to decrease your pets itch and not get any of the side effects that those other medications are going to target.

If you guys have questions on which of these would be right for your pet, make an appointment with us. Let’s sit down and talk about all these options and which medications would benefit your pet the best. We hope that they have a very itch-free spring, summer and fall with us in Flagstaff.

Options for Preventing Parasites in the Spring

Along with dog allergies, another thing that can catch up to our beloved four-legged friends during the spring time is parasites. Just that word can make me itch. But more specifically, I am talking about the not-so friendly fleas, ticks and heartworms. These parasites are fairly common and can affect our pets in various ways, from temporary irritation to lifelong illness. Heartworm disease, for those of you who don’t know, could be very serious, but it is 100% preventable.

The Heartworm Parasite

The heartworm parasite is transmitted via mosquitoes. The mosquito injects larvae under the skin that eventually develops into large worms that live in your pet’s heart. With a simple in-house yearly blood test and some delicious chewables heartworm, heartworm disease can be prevented.

Interceptor Plus

Now we carry Interceptor Plus. Interceptor is not only going to protect your pet against the heartworm but also roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms, which is why we carry this once-a-month, delicious chewable for your pet.

Fleas and Ticks

Now we are fortunate to be living in Flagstaff and that we do not have as high of a parasite burden as other places in our country. However, fleas and ticks are becoming more prevalent in this region and they can transmit some very scary diseases to both you and your pet.

Bravecto

To help keep your pet safe from these, we carry another yummy chewable called Bravecto. Bravecto actually lasts up to three months from just one treat.

Protect Your Pet This Spring

We’re excited for spring to be here, but we want you to remember to just protect your pet from what spring brings – dog allergies and parasites. To schedule an appointment, call us at 928-522-6008.