Allergies Part 2

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , /

Good Afternoon, Dr. Bill Christenberry here at Caldwell Mill Animal Clinic. We are in a three part series on allergies and pets. The 1st part was flea allergy the most common allergy in dogs and cats. The 2nd most is caused atopy, A T O P Y. Atopy typically refers to environmental allergens that pets respond to. Those are mostly inhaled but they can also can involve some contact type allergens. And they as I said, environmental allergens we’re talking about pollens, we’re talking about molds, we’re talking about dust mites, we’re talking about dander, we’re talking about grasses, fibers, things in the air basically that are inhaled but also that they come in contact with. We talked about flea allergy and it being relatively easy to diagnose. Well atopy is relatively easy to diagnose as well. The distribution of the itching is not as specific as we usually see in flea allergy. With atopy our dermatology professor at Auburn where we learned first about atopy called dogs that had atopy feet lickers and face rubbers. That’s typically what they do they chew and lick their feet, they paw and rub at their face or they’ll go down the couch at home and run their face along the couch to scratch their face. They can have itching all over their body, they can have it of course their feet and their face but also on their sides, on their belly, on their rear-end, around their base of their tail. So anywhere they can have symptoms of atopy. Much more difficult to control, as we talked about flea allergies you have to control the fleas and then you got your problem under control. With atopy that much easier said than done. We are usually left with treating that systematically fortunately most dogs that have atopy are seasonal sufferers so we can get them through two or three months with some temporary treatment and then the rest of the year hopefully they are more controlled. There are a lot of different ways that we can treat them, the mildness probably the least effective is antihistamines but if you do have a dog that has a mild problem antihistamines are enough and we use a lot of different ones they can use most of the ones that people use can use Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl Chlor-trimeton all those can be used. We have some great new products that have came out recently that we are very excited about, that work well and they have very few side effects. Apoquel which is an oral medication. Cytopoint which is an inject-able medication. Those can be used for life as needed. Our standby has always been steroids, Predinsone Dexamethasone, Triamcinolone injectables and oral medication and they work great for controlling the allergies, but they have long term side effects. We have to be careful with how much of that we use, how often we use that. We still use that a good bit in short term treatments because we know its effective and if we are only using it short term it has very few side effects to effect our pets. But since Atopy is caused by environmental allergens of course we try to control those but you know if you have a dog or a cat that is allergic to pine pollen and you live in a neighborhood with pine trees you know your going to have to move otherwise you are going to have to deal with treating for that. We can do allergy testing to identify what they are allergic to it takes a blood test and usually takes about three weeks to get the results back. And then once we find out if there are things that you can avoid then we can deal that but most of the time they are not and so what we do is give allergy shots they’re called hypo Allergens Part 2

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