Dog allergies – Inhalant Allergy
The most common type of allergy is the inhalant type. In fact, the
most common cause of itching in the dog is inhalant allergy.
allergies that occur seasonally are created by tree, grass, and
weed pollens grains swirling in the air. Other irritants include
household dust and dust mites, mold spores and mildew.
humans inhale these allergens, we express the allergy as a respiratory
problem sometimes called "hay fever." The dog’s reaction,
however, usually produces severe, generalized itching.
dogs that have inhalant allergy react to several allergens. If the
number is small and they are the seasonal type, itching may last
for just a few weeks at a time during one or two periods of the
year. If the number of allergens is large or they are they are present
year-round, the dog may itch constantly.
for inhalant allergies ranges from keeping your dog comfortable
with gentle baths to drug therapy in order to interrupt the itch
cycle until the skin can be healed and the allergen has diminished.
largely depends on the length of the dog’s allergy season.
often anti-inflammatory therapy (steroids) will dramatically block
the allergic reaction.
Generally, steroids are only used on a brief and intermittent basis.
This therapeutic approach is recommended for the middle-aged or
older dog that has year round itching caused by inhalant allergy.
Small doses of steroids such as prednisone can be invaluable in
treating a dog with chronic or acute allergic reactions when all
else fails. Again, owners should always follow their veterinarian’s
suggestions and advice.
can also be of value in treating the allergic dog either by themselves
or when combined with steroids. Fatty acid supplementation can also
be implemented with steroids and antihistamine. When the three of
them are combined, most allergic dogs are significantly improved.
dogs may get relief from antihistamines but owners should ask their
veterinarian for proper dosage for their dog and may have to try
more than one before finding the formula that helps.
some allergens may be absorbed through the skin, many dogs are helped
by frequent bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo or rinses containing
oatmeal, aloe vera, or eucalyptus. In addition to removing surface
antigens, bathing generally provides some temporary relief from
Another form of allergy treatment is hyposensitization with specific
antigen injections – "allergy shots". Although hyposensitization
is the ideal way to treat inhalant allergy, it does have some drawbacks
and may not be the best choice in certain circumstances.
the specific sources of allergy are identified, very small amounts
of the antigen are injected weekly. The purpose of this therapy
is to reprogram the body’s immune system. It is hoped that as time
passes, the immune system will become less reactive to the problem-causing
allergens. If hyposensitization appears to help the dog, injections
will continue for several years. For most dogs, a realistic goal
is for the itching to be significantly reduced in severity; in some
dogs, itching may completely resolve.
controls include frequent vacuuming and dusting of the areas where
the dog spends time and keeping his bedding dust-free.
Medications – Dog
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