What Is Flea Or Insect Bite Allergy And How Is It Treated
Insect bite allergy is the exaggerated inflammatory response to the bite or sting of an insect. Arachnids such as spiders and ticks, and insects including fleas, blackflies, deerflies, horseflies, mosquitoes, ants, bees, hornets and wasps, can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive dogs.
Flea saliva is by far the most common insect allergen in dogs, causing flea allergy dermatitis . Most dogs experience minor local irritation from flea bites. The FAD dog will react to a single bite with severe local itching. A dog with FAD will bite and scratch itself and may remove large amounts of hair, especially in the tail-base region. A secondary bacterial infection may develop in the areas of broken skin.
“Because one flea can be a problem for a dog with FAD, strict flea control is essential.”
Potential Side Effects And Risks Of Claritin For Dogs
Unlike most antihistamines, Loratadine does not cross the blood-brain barrier meaning it is not associated with drowsiness. However, it can still trigger some side effects, including:
Loratadine medications and formulations should not be used in:
- Dogs allergic or sensitive to Loratadine
- Dogs on meds with established drug interactions
- Dogs with dry keratoconjunctivitis, kidney, and liver disease
- Young pups and pregnant and nursing females
Your Pets Diet: Food As Medicine
The specific ingredients you use to nourish your pet can actually provide medical and health benefits. A proper diet is one of the most important yet easiest things you can do to help alleviate your pets allergies at home.
The practice of Eastern Food Therapy utilizes diet to treat and prevent certain conditions. In EFT, external symptoms are seen as manifestations of imbalances within the body. Balance can be restored with whole foods to nourish, replenish, and soothe the body from the inside out.
And you can apply these same EFT practices to your pets, too!
Based on your pets body imbalances, your pet is categorized as warm, neutral, or cool. Pets suffering from allergies, manifesting as itchiness, red skin, and ear infections, fall into a warming category and benefit from cooling ingredient diets.
One of the most effective home remedies for seasonal allergies in dogs and cats is changing food and diet, says Dr. Birken. A large part of my natural approach to allergies is evaluating pets bodys whole systems . Using EFT in my practice, I diagnose imbalances to reestablish a whole-body balance. I work with pet parents to transition to diets that support healthy bodies and immune systems, combating allergies and other diseases in the process.
Recommended Reading: Could Allergies Cause Sore Throat
The Benefits Of Allergy Shots For Dogs
Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash
Its tempting to think you might be able to avoid an allergenbut this usually isnt possible, especially when that allergen comes from trees, grasses, and dust mites. Pollen is carried in the air, Dr. Eckholm explains. It can be carried up to 30 miles in the air, and dust mites are everywhere.
If you suspect your pet has an environmental allergy that youre unable to treat at home, its important to seek immunotherapy treatment as soon as possible for your allergic pet for a number of reasons.
First, environmental allergies are progressive and will worsen as a dog gets older. Immunotherapy is much more successful in younger pets.
The younger you allergy test a dog and start immunotherapy, the better they do, Dr. Eckholm explains. If a dog comes in as a senior, I dont often recommend testing them because its not as effective.
Its also about quality of life for your pet. Just what does quality of life mean? Anyone with an allergic dog can tell you that relief from constant itching and scratching without having to keep your dog in a cone 24/7 is worth it! If you dont cone your dog, you risk him developing painful hot spots from incessant licking. Who wants their dog to live like that?
Also, dogs will often develop secondary bacterial infections as a result of their allergies. These are managed with antibiotics, which also become less effective over time.
Immunotherapy For Dog Allergies
Immunotherapy allergy shots for dogs are another way to treat allergies. With this type of treatment, a vet injects small amounts of what the dog is allergic to, increasing the dose slowly, so the dog can learn to tolerate the allergen. The goal is to reduce medication and the need for symptom management until its no longer needed. However, immunotherapy only treats environmental allergies, like pollen, molds, and mites, and wont work for food allergies or flea bite allergies.
Read Also: Dog Food For Dogs With Skin Allergies
# 3 Quercetin And Dog Allergies
Quercetin is a phytonutrient found in fruits and vegetables. Its an antioxidant and it also antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
Quercetin is called Natures Benadryl because it can turn off histamine production. Histamines are chemicals that cause allergic reactions. Research has shown that quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines. Quercetin is in foods like broccoli and apples. But its best to give your dog quercetin in a supplement, so you get the concentrated benefits.
How Much Quercetin For Dogs With Allergies?For a convenient way to give your dog some allergy relief, try a quercetin supplement. Quercetin supplements come in pill, powder or capsule form. They often contain bromelain, which is an enzyme that makes quercetin more effective.
Quercetin is best given on an empty stomach. The recommended dose is 8 mg for every pound of your dogs weight.
- For a 20 lb dog, give 160 mg
- For a 50 lb dog, give 400 mg
Can Dogs Take Zyrtec
Yes, Zyrtec can be a safe and effective antihistamine for pups. Vets recommend approximately 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, given once to twice daily.
Zyrtec vs Claritin for dogs wondering which is better? Like with humans, it depends on the individual. You can speak with your vet about trying both individually to see which seems to work better for your pup.
Don’t Miss: Best Dog Food For Dogs With Food Allergies
An Important Caution About Nsaids And Steroids
NSAIDs and steroids should never be used together because of potential damage to the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys.
So even though Zachory came to me for acupuncture of his neck, I was excited to discuss new, better, and safer options for treating his allergies. We worked with his regular veterinarian to select and administer Cytopoint. Zachorys injection was pricey. However, unlike some alternatives, it should keep him symptom-free for about a month.
Thankfully, Cytopoint wont interfere with his other medications and it has worked beautifully for him! Mom described it as a huge relief for both of them.
Can Cbd Cause An Allergic Reaction
Although theres no research regarding allergic reactions after using CBD in dogs, allergies to cannabis are a real thing. For example, your dog may be allergic to the pollen produced by cannabis plants. When they inhale the pollen, they may suffer from typical allergy symptoms.
Researchers from a 2018 study found that people with allergies to dust mites, molds, and plants, have a higher risk of developing an allergy to cannabis. However, no study has suggested similar reactions in dogs .
As for allergies to cannabinoids, things are quite similar. In a 1971 study, the authors found that THC could produce an allergic reaction. THC and CBD have a similar molecular structure, so theres a slight chance it could trigger an allergy. However, its important to note that the side effects of CBD are different than those of THC, so its difficult to draw definitive conclusions.
You May Like: Allergy Partners Of Northern Virginia
Video Answer: Homemade Dog Food For Itchy Skin
Sulfate-free, organic, hypoallergenic shampoo can help calm your dog’s irritated skin additional ingredients like aloe vera and hydrocortisone are anti-inflammatories that also aid in reducing itchiness and inflamed skin. For hot spots and lesions, an organic spray or antihistamines and topical creams can help.
- In order to treat environmental allergies, the vet will usually prescribe corticosteroids and antihistamines to prevent your Frenchie from scratching. Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, the strength of the medication will be determined by your dogs vet.
How To Prevent Allergic Reactions
Because not all dogs react the same to an allergen, preventing a reaction can be tricky. Avoid suddenly switching products, such as carpet cleaners or detergents that you may use to clean your dog’s bedding and sleeping area. Keep a close eye on your dog while they are outside. Take heed if you have bees, wasps, or other stinging insects in your area. If your dog does have a history of vaccine reactions, your vet may split up vaccines so they aren’t all done at once and/or they may give an injection of diphenhydramine before the vaccine is given. This can help prevent a vaccine reaction from occurring.
Acute allergic reactions can be scary, and if left untreated, serious. Oftentimes, though, a simple treatment is all that is needed to get your dog feeling better. If you have any questions about your dog’s risk for an allergic reactionespecially a vaccine reactionspeak to your veterinarian.
Recommended Reading: Fort Worth Allergy And Asthma
Dog Steroids For Allergies
Steroids, including prednisone, dexamethasone, and triamcinolone are available in a wide variety of forms including oral liquids, oral tablets, topical medications/shampoos, and injectable medications.
They work by suppressing specific cells and chemical signals found in the immune system to dramatically reduce inflammation and itching. In fact, steroids often work like magic to provide relief for itchy dogs.
Benefits of steroids as an allergy medication for dogs
The benefits to steroids include:
- Steroids work rapidly, powerfully, and are relatively inexpensive.
- Steroids are particularly beneficial in the treatment of ear infections in dogs. Heres why: many times the swelling of the ear canal is so severe that it can be difficult to get the medication down into the ear canal to treat the infection. Because steroids reduce inflammation, they are one of the only classes of allergy medication that can open the ear canal, allowing for better treatment of the underlying ear infection.
However, and its a big however, steroids are not without side effects. Compared with other medications discussed in this article, steroids side effects are relatively common and disturbing.
What are the side effects of steroids?
The bottom line on steroids for dogs with allergies
BOTTOM LINE: Steroids are highly effective for environmental allergies but super concerning for long-term use. Chronic steroid use will likely take a toll on the dogs body, and the risks may outweigh the benefits.
Our Final Thoughts On Claritin For Dogs
If your dog is suffering from allergy symptoms and you are suffering when your beloved pet is in pain, Claritin is the solution you are looking for. This popular antihistamine is efficient, safe, and can be used in conjunction with other treatments.
However, do not forget to discuss your dogs anti-allergy strategy with the vet. This article is purely informative and should not be used as an excuse to skip the veterinary consult.
Read Also: Where To Apply Essential Oils For Allergies
Causes Of Dog Allergies
You may have heard that some dog breeds trigger allergy symptoms while others don’t, or that short-haired dogs are safe while long-haired dogs prone to shedding are not. But on the whole, experts say that isn’t the case. In fact, two dogs of the same breed can each give off very different levels of allergen.
It’s not the dog’s hair or fur that’s the real problem. Instead, people are usually allergic to the dander — flakes of dead skin — as well as the saliva and urine. So, no matter how long or short the hair, any dog can potentially cause an allergic reaction.
You might wonder why dog dander has such an effect on you. People with allergies have oversensitive immune systems. Their bodies overreact to harmless substances — like dog dander — and attack it as they would bacteria or viruses. The sneezing and watery eyes are just the side effects of the body’s attempt to destroy or flush out the allergen.
Dosage Of Benadryl For Dogs
The best way to determine the correct Benadryl dosage for dogs is to consult your veterinarian. The Merck Veterinary Manual recommends administering 2-4 milligrams of Benadryl per kilogram of body weight, two to three times a day. However, this dosage can vary depending on your dogs medical conditions.
Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer, warns that you should always consult with a veterinarian before giving Benadryl to a puppy because young puppies can be very sensitive to certain medications. The drug is also not recommended for pregnant or nursing dogs
Never use time-release capsules for dogs, as capsules are absorbed differently in dogs than in humans and may affect your dogs dosage. They may also break open when chewed and deliver too much medication at one time, putting your dog at risk of an overdose.
Its best to avoid using liquid Benadryl if it contains sodium, which can cause other side effects. Also avoid any form of Benadryl that contains alcohol.
Childrens Benadryl pills or tablets can be used safely if you ask your veterinarian for the appropriate dosage.
You May Like: Best States For Allergies And Asthma
What Are The Signs Of Allergies In Dogs
Your dog may exhibit a range of telltale symptoms, including itching and scratching especially when its excessive or in moist, red, flaky-looking skin. Once you notice these signs, its time to act and find a proper solution to the problem.
Sometimes dogs will also experience runny noses, droopy eyes, or suffer canine ear infections. The dogs ears may itch and produce a foul-smelling liquid. Some dogs may itch at the base of their tale or along their back, although its typically observed in dogs with flea allergies.
Other signs of allergies include sneezing, vomiting, or diarrhea in your pet dogs due to an allergic reaction. Dogs may also lick themselves obsessively as well as chew their paws. Sometimes our canine friends may even snore due to allergies as a result of inflammation in their sinuses and in the throat.
Last but not least, dogs suffering from any kind of secondary bacterial or yeast infection may experience hair loss accompanied by crusty-looking skin.
Allergies can develop at any time in a dogs life and there is no way to make them immune to allergens.
Geneticists believe that some dog breeds are more susceptible than others, but it really depends on the dogs immune system, eating habits, and the environment they live in.
Antihistamines For Skin Allergies In Dogs
Antihistamines can be of significant benefit in controlling skin allergies in dogs. Althoughnot as universally effective as cortisone type medications , they have fewerside effects and significantly help up to half of dogs with skin allergies. They are wellworth trying in order to avoid or even reduce the level of prednisone needed to controlitching. In any individual patient, one antihistamine may be significantly more effectivethan another. Therefore, it is important to try several until one is found that does help,before determining that they are not effective in your dog.Please try the following antihistamines for a minimum of 2-3 weeks. If effective, continueto give them if your dog is itchy . If one is not effective, proceed to the next one on the list.
Read Also: Stuffy Nose Allergies Or Cold
What Is Contact Allergy
Contact allergy is the least common type of allergy in dogs. It results from direct contact to allergens, such as pyrethrins found in flea collars, pesticides used on the lawn, grasses, materials such as wool or synthetics used in carpets or bedding, etc. Contact allergies can develop to practically anything and at any age.
“…there will be skin irritation and itching at the points of contact…”
If the dog is allergic to any of these substances, there will be skin irritation and itching at the points of contact, usually the feet and stomach. Removal of the allergen often solves the problem.
Caution: The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance. Be prepared for your pet to receive a full diagnostic evaluation to rule out other causes of itching and skin problems. If an allergy is diagnosed, your whole family must follow your veterinarian’s advice very closely in order to successfully relieve your pet’s discomfort.
Antihistamines For Mild Pet Allergies
For mild pet allergies with sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, the first-line treatment is antihistamine pills, says Dr. Qamar, who explains that there are a few different types of antihistamines, but some people do better with one than another. For example, a person with mild allergies may do well with Claritin. Another person with more severe allergies may do better with Zyrtec. However, Dr. Qamar says that although Zyrtec may be more effective in some patients, around 10% of people can become sleepy with it.
Some antihistamines that are often used to treat pet allergies include the following.
|Best allergy medicine for pet allergies
RELATED: Compare allergy medicine
Read Also: Do Humidifiers Help With Allergies
Supplements To Enhance And Boost Cooling Effects
Omega-3s Omega-3s have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that many dogs need during allergy season. Omega-3 fatty acids provide optimal nourishment to the skin and coat and even help relieve joint pain! They also help skin retain moisture and hydration.
A key part of my treatment protocol when helping to manage allergies is Omega-3 fatty acids. Supplements rich in Omega-3s, like Side by Sides Shine Through Supplement, also help brain and cell function, says Dr. Birken.
Probiotics Allergy symptoms worsen if the digestive system is out of balance. Having a healthy gastrointestinal tract is essential for dogs as all food nutrients are absorbed and assimilated here.
Probiotics help bring balance and harmony to the gastrointestinal tract.
A healthy gut is essential in ensuring my patients have strong immune systems. And a strong immune system supports healthy skin. I prescribe Belly Balance Probiotics as part of my treatment plan when managing pet allergies, says Dr. Birken.
Helps maintain Gut Flora In The Digestive Tract Provides Enzymes and Factors Necessary for Proper Digestion Assists in the Digestion and Absorption of Essential Nutrients Provides Beneficial