Types of Allergy Medicine for Dogs

Many types of allergy medicine for dogs are available to help alleviate your pet’s troublesome allergies. Like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal or yearly allergies caused by dust, mold, pollen, plants, insect bites and even food. Learning to recognize the symptoms of dog allergies and which medications are safe to give to your best friend is important to the overall happiness of your dog.

An allergy is a reaction from the immune system to a specific environmental substance. Typical allergy symptoms that appear in dogs are often very similar to those that appear in humans. Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, a runny nose and itchy water eyes are all symptoms that can affect dogs. Dogs may also show signs of excessive licking or chewing on their skin and ear infections as a result of allergies. These symptoms can be seasonal or become chronic problems. Causes of dog allergies can be plant and animal proteins found in the environment, food allergies and insect bites.

Once you have determined that your dog is suffering from allergies, it is best to do some detective work to attempt to discover which specific allergens are causing the trouble. If you can pinpoint what is directly causing the problem, the best treatment option is avoidance of this specific substance. This may mean removing certain chemicals, foods or fabrics from your dog’s daily life. In cases where the direct cause of a dog’s allergies cannot be determined or where it is simply impossible to avoid certain allergens, then the next step is to talk to your veterinarian about medicines safe for treating your dog.

While there are many types of allergy medicine for dogs that are both effective and safe, it is always wise to discuss treatment plans with your vet to avoid over dosage of medications, possible drug combinations and negative side effects. The most common form of medication prescribed to dogs that are suffering from allergies is anti-histamines because they block the body’s natural response to an allergen, histamine, which in turn lessens the symptoms. Diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl is the most common form used in dogs. It can be very effective in treating allergy symptoms but may cause drowsiness.

Other forms of anti-histamines often used on dogs are Hydroxyzine medications. Steroids and corticosteroids are very effective allergy remedies for severe cases, but they have long term side effects that can be very serious, such as problems urinating, diarrhea, diabetes, immune disorders and liver problems.  Steroids should only be used briefly and with the supervision of a vet. Many allergens that can affect dogs create skin problems. Itchy and irritated skin on dogs leads to scratching and infections. Glucocorticoids are anti-inflammatory medications that can help reduce these skin problems. There are also many non-steroid dermatis medications available such as non-corticosteroids. Most of these types of medications are taken orally or are injected into the body.

Another form of allergy medicine for dogs include topical treatments. This is usually seen in the form of creams, shampoos and rinses. Topical medications such as hydrocortisone and Gold Bond powder are great for providing your pet with instant relief and have a low risk of side effects. Many vets will recommend vitamins and supplements in addition to medications to help treat allergies in dogs. Biotin, a vitamin B supplement found in brewer’s yeast is helpful for this as well as fatty acids found in fish oil. These help to improve moisture in the skin and reduce the effect of histamine. Another possible treatment involves immunotherapy, or the gradual de-sensitization of the dog to a specific allergen by injecting an altered version of it into the dog over time. This is often used as a last resort cure for hard to treat allergy cases.




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