Top 7 Questions About My Itchy Dog

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1. Why is my pet itchy?
Allergies are one of the most common culprits. Although
licking or overgrooming may make it seem like your pet is
itchy, it could be a sign of stress or boredom. Bring your pet
to the veterinarian for an exam to properly diagnose and
treat the issue.
2. How long does my pet need to take
medication?
That depends on the condition we’re treating. If your pet
suffers from allergies, she may need medications seasonally
or life long. If mites or fleas are the culprit, your pet
will need medication for a few months to ensure she’s been
fully treated. And we recommend continuing a monthly
treatment to ensure your pet isn’t reinfected. Reinfection
often happens because parasites are already present in
the environment.
3. Is the medication safe for longterm
use?
Most people aren’t aware that most antihistamines are
safe in pets, as they are in people. But antihistamines
with a decongestant (i.e. Allegra-D) aren’t safe and
shouldn’t be used.
It’s generally safe to be on antihistamines for life while
under the supervision of a veterinarian. In a perfect
world, this would be the only medication our patients
would need. But in reality, a corticosteroid or immunosuppressant
may be needed. If this is the case, both kinds
of medications can cause damage to the kidneys and liver
when used long term. If it’s necessary, the doctor may
prescribe either medication long term and use regular
blood testing to monitor the pet’s health.
4. Do I have to feed my pet this
therapeutic food?
It’s highly recommended. A trial on a therapeutic food
is often the only way to diagnose food allergy without a
blood test. Pet store foods may be advertised as “hypoallergenic”
or “limited-ingredient,” but many brands share
manufacturing—which means cross-contamination is
likely. A therapueutic diet ensures allergens aren’t introduced
during manufacturing.
5. Will my pet grow out of allergies?
Not likely. Once developed, most allergies will be lifelong.
Sometimes with age a pet’s reaction to a particular
allergen will decrease.
6. Why did my pet develop allergies
now?
Allergies can develop at any time in a pet’s life. They develop
when the body comes in contact with substances
it mistakenly identifies as harmful. We often see this at
1 to 3 years of age, when the pet is exposed to more allergens
in foods and the environment.
7. How can I stop my pet from licking
or chewing herself raw?
The first solution is an Elizabethan collar. But pets don’t
always react to them well. Some other options include
using a t-shirt, boxer underwear or socks. These not
only work for itchy patients, but they also work to protect
incisions after surgery

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