Picture this: It is 2am and you’ve been dreaming of white sand beaches and crashing waves. But suddenly the cries of sea gulls and rushing water turn to something else…What is that noise?! You are pulled from your slumber by the sounds of your pet licking and chewing at themselves. This is now the 4th night in a row you have been awoken by your pet and you realize that something must be going on.
Does this sound like a familiar scenario in your home? Pets can suffer from environmental allergies much like people do. However, they are not able to verbalize their discomfort, so they show us in other ways.
When people suffer from allergies we get runny noses, itchy and watery eyes and sometimes we sneeze. Our pets tend to chew and gnaw at their paws. They may even rub their faces on the ground or shake their heads. You may also see them scratch at their belly and armpits. If your pet suffers from chronic ear infections or skin infections these can also be secondary to an environmental allergy.
Most veterinary professionals have been in your shoes and we all agree that it is frustrating! Did you know there are things to help with your pet’s allergies and itching? We recommend starting with a skin cytology to determine if there is a secondary skin infection. Based on those findings we can treat the secondary infections and address the itching.
Apoquel is one of the therapies we like to use in dogs with allergies. It is a very effective treatment option that works to block the itch pathway to give your pet some relief (and you some sleep). Apoquel can be used as a long-term medication if your pet is itchy year-round but it also can be used as needed during allergy flare-ups. Many pets will experience flare ups during the warmer months here in Summerville, SC and things tend to calm down as the season changes and cool weather approaches. Apoquel is an excellent option as relief is almost immediate (within 4 hours of administration)!
We understand that remembering to give an oral medication can be tricky and sometimes our furry friends just do not like to take pills. If you prefer a different method of relief we also recommend Cytopoint. Cytopoint is an injection we give at Cane Bay Veterinary Clinic that offers 4-8 weeks of itch relief. Cytopoint can also be paired with Apoquel for those pet’s that need that little extra relief. It is also safe for use in dogs of any age! Both of these medications are prescription only so Dr. Hill or Dr. Turick will need to perform a physical exam before administering either drug.
Topical maintenance is also an important step in keeping your pet’s allergies in check. Things like soothing medicated shampoos and ear flush can help control minor flare-ups and help to get your pet back on the road to being itch free!
If your pet is experiencing allergy symptoms, call our office for an appointment.