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Treating Allergies in Dogs

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Treating an allergy depends entirely on the source of the allergen. Around 90% of all dogs suffering with an allergy can be successfully treated. With mild allergies the vet may prescribe a simple fatty acid supplement such as Omega 3 or just a change in the diet. Some dogs react to more than one allergen having both food and atopic allergies. This is more complicated and time consuming to treat before achieving a successful outcome.

The veterinarian will prescribe a mildly medicated shampoo for bathing the dog in but this only gives temporary relief. The vet may also prescribe sprays and ointments to reduce inflammation and itching. Topical medication containing Hydrocortisone gives the dog some relief from itching but again this does not have a long term effect.

Dabbing the sore areas with diluted witch hazel can also reduce the itching. In severe cases Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation. These can have side effects leading to an increased thirst or appetite, excessive urination and even behavioural changes. Corticosteroids should not be used long term.

Monthly allergy vaccinations have a 70% success rate though it may be several months before any improvement is seen. They are also quite costly and are often not covered by pet insurance companies.

Antihistamines can also be prescribed to dogs to treat allergies and once the correct dosage has been assessed they are very effective. As with antihistamines prescribed for human use they can cause drowsiness in the dog.

Outside of the veterinary surgery the dog's owner can make environmental changes to remove allergens as much as possible. Often dogs are allergic to many of the household cleaners used in the home every day. Using eco friendly cleaners may improve the dog’s condition due to the reduced level of man-made chemicals.

Some dogs are allergic to carpets which can be rectified by simply changing the floor covering. Keeping doors and windows shut and the dog indoors when the pollen count is high helps as does using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter.

Flea allergies can be treated with a veterinary prescribed flea treatment. Sprays for the home can be purchased in most pet shops or from the vet. All bedding should be thoroughly washed on a hot washing cycle to ensure the dog's bed is cleaned deeply and effectively. This is one of the most common solutions to mild or infrequent canine allergies where the source is hard to trace or isolate.

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Diagnosing Allergies in Dogs
Dog Allergy Symptoms
Dog Food Allergies
Treating Allergies in Dogs

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