If you’re sure there are no fleas on your pet or in your home, then inhaled allergens are the next most likely reason for inflamed, itchy skin. Tree, grass and weed pollen in the spring, summer and fall, as well as dust mites, mold spores and other allergens trapped in our homes all winter, can activate an allergic response in our pets.
These allergies often start as short-term seasonal irritation and can progress to year-round, difficult to control skin disease. Antihistamines aren’t very effective in calming pet allergies. Steroids are quite effective, but should not be used long-term. Other medications, which mildly suppress the allergic response, give comfort to some pets and can be used long-term to treat chronic allergies.
Intradermal skin testing to see what allergens are responsible, followed by injections given at home, may help to desensitize your pet. This hyposensitization is about 60% effective in reducing or stopping the allergic reaction, and is a good long-term treatment if it helps your pet. Some pets respond to acupuncture or specific herbal therapies administered under the guidance of a certified therapist.
The diagnosis and treatment of skin problems is a complicated business. A logical, step-by-step approach to finding the cause and best treatment takes time and patience! Call our office for an appointment to review your pet’s history and to see if another approach would benefit your itchy pet.