Allergies and Veterinary care here in the Vail Valley

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Allergies and Veterinary care here in the Vail Valley

As your Vail Valley Veterinarian and Pet Vet, We are seeing that Allergy season for pets is here – UGH!  The warmer, damper weather in the spring means that our trees, grasses and plants are beginning to thrive again.  This also means dry, itchy skin and sneezing in both us and our pets.   Why does this happen and what can we do about it?  Luckily for your pet (and for you) your veterinarian is here to help!

When a pet is itchy, one of the most common causes is because of an allergy to something.  Allergies can be to anything from parasites (fleas, ticks) to food to something in the environment.  One of the first things your veterinarian will do is check for fleas, ticks and mites – as long as there are no signs of those, the next step may be to search for an allergen (something your animal is allergic to). 

Dogs can have allergies to something in their food or to something in their environment such as grasses, pollens or plants.  Allergies cause a reaction from the immune system and in dogs signs of allergies can be ear infections, itchy skin, red bumps on the skin, itchy feet and reddened, dry skin on the abdomen.  Cats with allergies may have chronic diarrhea or bald patches of skin from excessive licking.  

Now, how do we tell what the pet is allergic to?  First things first – visit your veterinarian and have a full exam performed on your pet.  If you vet feels that you dog may have a food allergy, they will likely recommend a hypoallergenic diet.  Dogs tend to be allergic to the protein in the food, NOT the grain.  

If your veterinarian feels that your pet may have an allergy to something in the environment and maybe not a food allergy, there are several options on how to control that.  There is a long acting injection called Cytopoint that can control itching for up to 4-8 weeks.  There is also an oral medication called Apoquel that is a fantastic way to control itching.  There are also more natural options for allergy control that can work great for your pet.  Your veterinarian may recommend one over the other depending on the situation.  For short-term treatment for itching, there are products such as antibiotics, steroids and creams that can be used.  Since ear infections can come due to allergies, it’s important to take care of your pet’s ears as well. 

Allergies can really be uncomfortable for your pet and there is always a way to help so make sure you contact your veterinarian so that your pet can enjoy the spring weather!

We look forward to seeing you!