treatment of skin allergy
Unfortunately, skin allergies in our pets are as common as Hay Fever is for us, especially for dogs (although cats can also be affected).
The most common causes of allergies are fleas, pollens and house dust mites. Food allergies are relatively very rare.
Allergies develop over quite a long period of time and it is very unlikely that something such as a new carpet is the cause.
It is always important to ensure that there are no fleas before thinking about any treatment or investigation.
The signs of allergy may be general itchiness especially around the ears and under the tail, licking the feet and rubbing the face. Sore areas, ear infections and hair loss may then develop.
In very mild cases antihistamines may be enough to relieve the discomfort but we will usually need to prescribe something stronger.
In some cases the allergy may be very seasonal and medication may only be needed for a short period but if the cause of the problem is longer lasting we usually recommend a programme of desensitisation, often referred to as immunotherapy. This involves taking blood samples to find out which particular pollens or other allergens are causing the trouble and having an immunotherapy 'vaccine' made. This is then given by quite frequent injections for the first few weeks, then monthly injections for the longer term. After the first few injections we can show you how to give the injections if you prefer and you can then do it yourself at home.
There will always be some 'flare ups' and additional medication may be needed from time to time (or even on a regular basis in some more severe cases) but the immunotherapy greatly reduces the need for treatment with drugs.