PRURITIS – ITCHY DOG – ALLERGIC DERMATITIS
Allergic dermatitis results in skin infections caused by excessive scratching. Allergic pets should be offered daily food supplementation of a Fatty Acid skin and coat conditioner. Fatty acid supplementation (Linoleic, Arachidonic and Eicosopentanoic Acids) are extremely helpful in controlling allergic symptoms. Antihistamines, such as Benedryl (25 mg) capsules or 5mg liquid 2 X daily often offers great relief (the only occasional side effect is drowsiness).
Topical Sprays such as Allerspray, Histacalm, or Gentocin Topical can offer great relief if sprayed 2-3 times daily, as can tar-sulfur soaks for 20 minutes which offer 48-72 hours relief. Steroidal anti-inflammatory injections provide 6-8 weeks of relief from itching but have side effects of increased thirst, increased urination (occasional accidents in the house), increased appetite, with unfortunate weight gain, and adrenal problems. Therefore, steroid injections cannot be given more frequently than once every other month (every 8 weeks).
Full proof flea control (ADVANTAGE or TOP SPOT) is required for every allergic pet. Lamb Rice diet or Science Diet DD / ZD will improve symptoms only if the allergy is based on some food ingredient. Most allergies are due to inhalant allergens such as pollens, ragweed, grass seed, dust, mold and to fleas.