If you are the owner of a dog who has the misfortune to have skin allergies, nothing can be worse than watching him suffer. You and your dog are not alone as approximately 20% of all dogs will at some point in their lives suffer from some form of dog skin allergy. Skin allergies can be miserable for your pet, and are often very hard to treat. Like most dog owners, you are probably willing to do whatever is necessary to get your poor dog the relief he needs to be able to enjoy his life again.
If you are like most pet owners, you love your dog as much as you love any other member of your family. Naturally, if you see the four legged member of your family suffering, your first thought will be to find your pet the relief he needs.
Fortunately, just as the medical community has created a number of new medicines and treatments to treat human allergies, the veterinary medicine world has accomplished similar feats to help your canine friend.
Treatments for Skin Allergies in Dogs
There are a number of effective dog skin allergy treatments available, some involve the use of a number of medical treatments, while others do not. Among the most common treatments are:
Avoiding the Cause
You must first determine what is causing your petís allergic reaction. There are many different causes for skin allergies in dogs such as dust mites, pollen or specific foods. Once you know what has been causing your poor dog to scratch incessantly, the easiest way treat the allergy is to avoid or eliminate the allergen. This can involve using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, keeping your lawn cut short, or not feeding him the types of foods or treats that cause the reaction.
Anti-Histamines as a Treatment
We have been using anti-histamines to treat allergies in humans for many years. The good news is that you can also use them as a very effective form of treatment for skin allergies in dogs. Your vet will decide if treating your petís allergies with anti-histamines is the right course and will prescribe the right medication and dosage for your dog.
Biotins and Fatty Acids
There has been a fair amount of research in the last few years regarding the use of foods rich in fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 for the treatment of skin allergies in dogs. The results of this research show that these compounds help to reduce the amount of histamines your dog's body produced in response to the allergens. Biotin, which is a type of B vitamin, can also be used to relieve your dog's itchy skin. One way to ensure your dog gets plenty of this is to add a small amount of brewer's yeast to his food every day.
Immunotherapy as a Form of Treatment
This process is very similar to the one used to help humans overcome their allergies. The vet will expose your dog to small amounts of the allergen with each visit. Over time this will allow your dog to build up a tolerance to whatever substance he is allergic to. The one thing to keep in mind is that these treatments can be rather costly. For this reason Immunotherapy is usually used as a last resort after all other treatments have failed.
Finally There Are Steroids
Steroids are not something you might think about for treating skin conditions in dogs, however for dogs that may not respond to other treatments they can provide a welcome relief. Steroids have in fact been found to be one of the most effective forms of skin allergy treatment for dogs. Because steroids have some serious side effects they should only be used when absolutely necessary and only for short periods of time. They should also only be used under the supervision of your vet.
These are but a few of the various forms of treatment for dog skin allergies available. There are a number of homeopathic remedies, along with numerous creams, lotions, shampoos and ointments available both in your local stores and from your vet. All of these can offer your dog, lasting relief from his skin allergy symptoms.