August is Itchy Pet Month!
We see itchy dogs COUNTLESS times a day, and itchy kitties about a few times a week. Itchy pets, just like itchy people, need some diagnostic tests and some trial-and-error to get their treatments right.
It often takes a combination of anti-itch medications (like Apoquel, Cytopoint, steroids or antihistamines); antibiotics/antifungals to clear secondary skin/ear/foot infections; topical treatments (shampoos, creams, ear cleaners) to support skin health, and high quality nutrition to start off with the right building blocks. Many pets can also benefit from allergy injections, just like the ones people get, as these are one of the only ways to treat the root cause of the allergy. Allergy vaccines are mostly available through veterinary dermatologists- specialists in skin disease.
In the ~20% of animals with food allergies, a hypoallergenic diet is also necessary. These pets require a very strict Elimination Diet Trial (along the lines of the Whole 30 diet for people) to TEST FOR and TREAT their food allergy. And in some cases, there may be a combination of food and environmental allergies.
It's also critical to ensure that fleas and other parasites aren't part of the problem, ESPECIALLY in cats- even one flea can cause a major skin reaction in kitties! This is the EASIEST and CHEAPEST diagnostic test in our arsenal- combing for fleas/lice, scraping for skin mites, and treating for skin parasites to ensure we don't miss them (they're very good at hiding).
We'll be focusing on pet allergies for the next few blog posts! Is your pet itchy? Give us a call as (718)370-0390 to set up an appointment, or request an appointment through our app!
Just search "SIVG" in your app store to set up your app account.