Allergies & Atopy 2

AllergensAvoidance Suggestions
House dustKeep pets out of room several hours when vacuuming
House dust mites• Use a plastic cover over pet's bed
• Wash bedding in very hot water
• Avoid letting pets sleep on stuffed furniture
• Avoid stuffed toys
• Keep pets in uncarpeted rooms
• Run air conditioner during hot weather
Moulds• Keep pets out of basements
• Keep pets indoors when the lawn is mowed
• Avoid dusty pet foods
• Clean and disinfect humidifiers
• Use dehumidifiers
• Avoid large numbers of houseplants
Pollens• Keep dogs out of fields
• Keep grass cut short
• Rinse dog off after periods in high grass and weeds
• Keep pets indoors during periods of high pollen season

Topical therapy

Topical therapy consists of shampoos and rinses and topical anti-itch solutions. Topical therapy offers immediate, but short-term relief. I recommend bathing atopic dogs at least once every two weeks with a hypoallergenic shampoo or colloidal oatmeal shampoo. Hydrocortisone shampoos may also be used. Weekly or even twice weekly shampoos may offer increased relief for some dogs.

Topical solutions containing hydrocortisone offer some relief. They are the most practical in treating localized itching. Creams or salves are often used on the feet and between the toes and sprays are used on the abdomen or other areas with less hair. These products are very poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, and when used in moderation, do not create long-term side effects or problems associated with injectable or oral steroids. In addition, cooling salves and lotions may also be used. Care must be taken with these to ensure that they do not make the coat too greasy. Dogs may tend to lick off these preparations. After applying these preparations, it is recommended to get the dog involved in some activity to prevent him from licking the treated area.

Fatty acids

Boston terrier licking paw Fatty acids have been recommended for years to improve coat quality and shine. Recently, new research has shown that certain fatty acids – the omega-3 fatty acids – are also very beneficial in the treatment of allergies in dogs and cats. Omega-3 fatty acids work in the skin to help reduce the amount and effects of histamine and other chemicals that are released in response to allergies. Not every allergic pet responds to omega-3 fatty acids. Some pets show improvements, others have a complete cure, and others show no change after being on the omega-3 fatty acids. Most pets need to be on the omega-3 fatty acids daily for several weeks to months to notice significant improvement. Omega-3 atty acids are very safe and have very few side effects. Studies show that when omega-3 fatty acids are used in conjunction with other treatments, such as antihistamines, the use of steroids can be decreased or discontinued. Be sure to use an omega-3 fatty acid supplement derived from fish oil. Other types of fatty acids (such as omega-6 fatty acids) can actually make some allergies worse. It is often best to use the omega-3 fatty acid supplements in conjunction with a diet lower in fat.

Biotin

Biotin is one of the B vitamins. Several studies have shown that dogs suffering from dry skin, seborrhea, and dry, itchy allergic skin greatly improved when supplemented daily with biotin. Biotin is often used in combination with fatty acids to treat dogs with allergies. Biotin is very safe and there are no side effects or toxicities. Biotin may be found as a supplemental powder containing just biotin, or as a supplement such as brewers yeast, which contains other ingredients.

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