What medicine can dogs take for allergies

Skin disease may result from deficiency or overactivity of immune responses. In cases where there are insufficient immune responses, the disease is generally described by the secondary disease that results. Examples include increased susceptibility to demodectic mange and recurrent skin infections, such as Malassezia infection or bacterial infections. Increased but harmful immune responses can be divided into hypersensitivity disorders such as atopic dermatitis and autoimmune disorders (autoimmunity), such as pemphigus and discoid lupus erythematosus.[2][3]

Atopic dermatitis

Atopy is a hereditary[4] and chronic (lifelong) allergic skin disease.

Signs generally start between 6 months and 3 years of age, with some breeds of dog, such as the golden retriever, showing signs at an earlier age. Dogs with atopic dermatitis are itchy, especially around the eyes, muzzle, ears and feet. In severe cases, the irritation is generalised. If the allergens are seasonal, the signs of irritation are similarly seasonal. Numerous dogs with home dust mite allergy own perennial disease.[5] Some of the allergens associated with atopy in dogs include pollens of trees, grasses and weeds, as well as molds and home dust mites.

Ear and skin infections by the bacteria Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis are commonly secondary to atopic dermatitis.

Food allergy can be associated with identical signs and some authorities consider food allergy to be a type of atopic dermatitis.[6] Food allergy can be identified through the use of elimination diet trials in which a novel or hydrolysed protein diet is used for a minimum of 6 weeks.

Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is by elimination of other causes of irritation, including fleas, mites, and other parasites, such as Cheyletiella and lice.

Allergies to aeroallergens can be identified using intradermal allergy testing and/or blood testing (allergen-specific IgE ELISA).

Treatment includes avoidance of the offending allergens if possible, but for most dogs this is not practical or effective. Other treatments modulate the adverse immune response to allergens and include antihistamines, steroids, ciclosporin, and immunotherapy (a process in which allergens are injected to attempt to induce tolerance).[7] In numerous cases, shampoos, medicated wipes and ear cleaners are needed to attempt to prevent the return of infections.

Autoimmune skin diseases

Pemphigus foliaceus is the most common autoimmune disease of the dog.[2] Blisters in the epidermis rapidly break to form crusts and erosions, most often affecting the face and ears initially, but in some cases spreading to include the whole body. The paw pads can be affected, causing marked hyperkeratosis (thickening of the pads with scale). Other autoimmune diseases include bullous pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

Treatment of autoimmune skin requires methods to reduce the abnormal immune response; steroids, azathioprine and other drugs are used as immunosuppressive agents.[2]


Visit Your Vet

There are numerous reasons your dog might be itching, but the two most common ailments are pests and allergies.

Regardless of the reason, seek veterinary attention correct when you notice your dog itching. Don’t give any medications prior to your vet’s examination and instruction. Although the treatment might be quick and simple, the final thing you desire is to make a serious decision that causes its own adverse reaction. Whereas fleas and ticks are best treated with prevention (which can be purchased in a variety of forms), food allergies are treated with limited-ingredient foods to eradicate the offending ingredient. Environmental allergies are tougher to treat, but can be easily managed with diligence and expert advice from your veterinarian.

At the finish of the day, keeping your dog clean and limiting his exposure to exterior allergens is essential in keeping your dog’s itchy skin at bay.

Even if your dog’s condition has gotten extreme, there’s nothing a little tender loving care and veterinary treatment can’t repair. Soon enough, you’ll discover your dog back to normal.

Contributor Bio

Katie Finlay

Katie Finlay is a pet trainer who lives in Southern California. She has been working with dogs and their owners both in person and through her online content for over six years.

Skin disorders are among the most common health problems in dogs, and own numerous causes.

The condition of a dog’s skin and jacket are also an significant indicator of its general health. Skin disorders of dogs vary from acute, self-limiting problems to chronic or long-lasting problems requiring life-time treatment. Skin disorders may be primary or secondary (due to scratching, itch) in nature, making diagnosis complicated.[1]


Environmental Allergies

If your dog is still itching, but he doesn’t own fleas or a food allergy, he may own some environmental allergies to things love pollen or dander.

A nutrition change may not do much in the way of relief, but your veterinarian may recommend a therapeutic food to improve your dog’s skin health.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

And your vet will own the best suggestions when confronting environmental allergens.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s itchiness, treatment can range from minor to extensive, going beyond just one method. Simple oral medication might be ideal during the worst parts of the year, along with regular grooming. Desensitization «allergy injections» may assist a percentage of dogs. Of course, steroid injections and stronger medications are suggested if your dog’s itching persists. Regardless of the cause, you’ll desire to seek your vet’s assessment before taking matters into your own hands.

Protecting Your Pooch

Eliminating the source of environmental allergies can be extremely hard, but not impossible.

Dogs need to go exterior and exercise, though, so keeping them away from pollen completely just isn’t practical. For dogs with itchy skin, wiping below or washing their feet and underbelly after going exterior to do their trade is a grand way to reduce irritation. If your dog has been out playing every day, consider giving him an entire, full-body bath. There are numerous shampoos, conditioners, and even medicated wipes that are designed specifically to remove pollen and reduce the irritation it brings. Hold in mind, however, that too numerous baths can backfire, causing your dog to own dry, itchy skin that needs its own relief.


Fleas and Ticks

Once you notice your dog itching, check for fleas and ticks first.

These blood-dependent pests use dogs as hosts every the time, and can latch on anywhere. Ticks can go unnoticed for some time until they become fully engorged and large enough for you to spot and remove. Hold in mind these irritating insects can and do carry a variety of dangerous diseases, so it’s significant to check for them during tick season and any time your dog enters a potentially infested area (anywhere exterior, mind you).

Fleas are less dangerous but just as uncomfortable.

Infestations of this helpful can cause severe itching and skin reactions, sometimes requiring veterinary care. Certain dogs can own allergic reactions to flea bites that cause extremely painful boiling spots, hair loss, swelling, and even infection. Spotting them is sometimes easier than ticks if you check regularly, but in long-coated and dark-colored dogs you might need some additional assist. Brush through your dog’s jacket with a clean flea comb to be certain if you’re dealing with a flea occupation.

Flea dirt can be spotted on your dog or in his most common resting areas such as beds and crates. If you give your dog a bath and notice a reddish brown color in the water, fleas are almost always the cause.

Checking your dog for fleas and ticks is not just a benefit to him, but it can also benefit you and your family. Fleas especially can migrate hosts and infest your whole home. As much as you don’t desire your dog to be itchy, you don’t desire you or your family feeling the same effects. It can also be a excellent thought to check yourself or your children for fleas or ticks after an outdoor excursion for your own health, but also to avoid them spreading to your pup too.

Preventing Pests

The best treatment for fleas and ticks is prevention.

Because these pests can be so uncomfortable–and dangerous–it’s recommended that flea and tick preventatives are used as frequently as your vet recommends. Keeping these pests away is much easier than trying to clear up an infestation that already exists, and it’ll hold you and your dog more comfortable in the endless run. Be certain to check with your vet to make certain any medicated shampoos and preventatives are the correct dosage and are safe for him to get as well.

There are numerous options available when choosing pest prevention–topical medication, flea and tick collars, sprays, as well as long-lasting shampoos. And if you do discover fleas and ticks on your pup, call your vet immediately for treatment recommendations and be certain to wash your dog’s bedding, as well.


Food Allergies

Just love people, dogs can be allergic to just about anything. If you don’t discover any fleas or ticks and your dog still has itchy skin, you might be dealing with an allergy of some sort. Before you start any treatment, it’s best to check with your vet to law out what your dog might be allergic to.

Food allergies, however, are one of the rarer allergies among dogs.

Finding the Culprit

Food allergies, while rare, do happen and elimination foods can prove necessary to discover out what ingredient(s) your dog is allergic to. You can work with your vet to do novel or hydrolyzed protein food trials to assess for food allergies and to make certain you avoid the trigger protein but also that your dog is being served proper nutrition. Over the counter limited ingredient foods may not own the quality control to avoid cross-contamination of ingredients, so you and your vet may desire to select a limited antigen therapeutic food that is consistent with the needs of your furry companion.


Strategies to Reduce Pet Allergies

If your child’s allergies aren’t too severe, you may be capable to take some steps to reduce your child’s symptoms and hold your pet.

For instance:

Keep pets out of the bedroom. Make your child’s room a pet-free zone and be certain to hold it clean. To hold the room pet dander- and pollen-free, install a high-efficiency air filter and air purifier. Remember to change the filters frequently.

Cover your child’s bed with additional protection. You can purchase dust mite covers for your child’s pillow, blanket, and mattress. This will also assist hold out dust mites, another potential allergy trigger, in addition to allergens love pet dander.

Go for hard surfaces.

Where you can, replace upholstered surfaces with non-fabric or easily washable materials. Pet dander sticks to upholstery, drapes, curtains, and carpeting more easily than it does to surfaces such as wood, vinyl, or tile. Plus, the latter are easier to clean. For this reason, you also shouldn’t let your allergic kid sleep with stuffed animals, Dr. Nassef adds. If you must own carpet in your child’s bedroom or elsewhere in your home, select a low-pile one and own it steam-cleaned regularly.

Bathe your pet weekly. Weekly baths can significantly reduce the quantity of allergy-causing dander your pet sheds.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

If possible, enquire a non-allergic member of your household to bathe the pet and be certain to wash that person’s clothes afterward. Wearing gloves may also assist. Enquire your veterinarian to recommend the best soaps and shampoos. Caution: Bathing too frequently can own the opposite effect. It can dry your pet’s skin and cause the animal to shed more dander.

Teach your kid to wash his hands with soap and water after touching the pet.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

Washing helps prevent the spread of allergens to your child’s nose, eyes, and mouth — which is especially significant if your kid gets a rash from having been licked by your pet, Nassef says.

Talk to your allergist about treatment. “Medications work for allergy symptoms regardless of the trigger — pollen, pet dander, etc.,” Nassef says. “But not every medications work equally well for every symptoms.” That’s why it’s significant to work with your doctor and tailor your child’s allergy medications to his or her symptoms.

Consult your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian can recommend a diet for your pet that’s wealthy in vitamins and minerals, which can assist your pet’s skin retain its moisture and not shed as much. Love people, pets can benefit from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, according to the Partnership for Animal Welfare in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Every family has to decide for themselves whether they can manage their children’s pet allergies with a cat or dog, Nassef says.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

“The best solution for pet allergies is to not own a pet,» she says, «but numerous people consider pets part of their family and getting rid of the pet is out of the question.”

Last Updated:8/7/

One of the most common medical complaints that we see in our office is dogs with skin infections, “hot spots”, or allergic dermatitis, also known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis.

Unlike people who react to allergens most commonly with nasal symptoms and/or hives, dogs react with skin and/or gastrointestinal problems. This is because there are a higher proportion of mast cells, which release histamines and other vasoactive substances in the face of an allergic challenge, in the skin of dogs.

These problems may range from poor jacket texture or hair length, to itching and chewing, to boiling spots and self-mutilation, gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence. Allergies may also frolic a part in chronic ear infections.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

The most common causes of canine allergic dermatitis are flea allergy, food allergy, inhalant or contact allergy, and allergy to the normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms of the skin. To make matters more hard to diagnose and treat, thyroid disease may add to the problem as well.

Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure to some otherwise harmless substance, an “allergen”. Most dogs start to show their allergic signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease, several breeds, including Golden Retrievers, most terriers, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Ancient English Sheep dogs are more commonly atopic, but numerous dogs, including mixed breed dogs can own atopic dermatitis.

Atopic animals will generally rub, lick, chew, bite, or scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin. The skin itself may be dry and crusty or oily depending upon the dog. Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and boiling. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.

In order to overcome these frustrating symptoms, your veterinarian’s approach needs to be thorough and systematic.

Shortcuts generally will not produce results and only add to owner frustration and canine discomfort.

Inhalant and Contact Allergies
Substances that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs are much the same as those that cause reactions in people including the pollens of grasses, trees and weeds, dust mites, and molds. A clue to diagnosing these allergies is to glance at the timing of the reaction.

Does it happen year round? This may be mold or dust. If the reaction is seasonal, pollens may be the culprit.

Food Allergies
Numerous people don’t suspect food allergies as the cause of their dog’s itching because their pet has been fed the same food every its life and has just recently started having symptoms. However, animals can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not law out food allergies. Another common misconception is that dogs are only sensitive to poor quality food. If the dog is allergic to an ingredient, it doesn’t matter whether it is in premium food or the most inexpensive brand on the market.

One advantage to premium foods is that some avoid common fillers that are often implicated in allergic reactions.

Flea Allergies
This type of reaction generally is not to the flea itself, but rather to proteins in its saliva. Interestingly enough, the dogs most prone to this problem are not dogs who are constantly flea ridden, but those who are exposed only occasionally! A single bite can cause a reaction for five to seven days, so you don’t need a lot of fleas to own a miserable dog.

Staphylococcus Hypersensitivity
Bacterial hypersensitivity occurs when a dog’s immune system overreacts to the normal Staphylococcus (Staph) bacteria on its skin.

It appears that bacterial hypersensitivity in the dog is more likely to happen if other conditions such as hypothyroidism, inhalant allergy, and/or flea allergy are concurrently present. Bacterial hypersensitivity is diagnosed through bacterial culture and examination of a biopsy sample. Microscopically, there are certain unique changes in the blood vessels of the skin in bacterial hypersensitivity.

Diagnosis

Allergy testing is the best diagnostic tool and the best road to treatment for dogs that are suffering from moderate and severe allergies.

There are several diverse testing methods available. The most common is a blood test that checks for antigen induced antibodies in the dog’s blood. Intradermal skin testing may also be performed. In this method of testing, a little quantity of antigen is injected into a shaved portion of the dog’s skin. This is done in a specific pattern and order so that if the dog shows a little raised reaction, the offending antigen can be identified. After a period of time (hours), the shaved area is examined to detect which antigens, if any, created a reaction. Allergy testing is performed to develop a specific therapy for the allergic animal.

Treatment

Medicated Baths
Numerous medicated shampoos own compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation.

In addition, frequent bathing (weekly to every other week) of the dog can remove allergens from the hair jacket, which may contribute to skin allergy flare-ups. The medicated baths we recommend are those that actually contain antimicrobial and antifungal agents as well as ingredients that permit the skin to be bathed on a more frequent basis without drying it out. Application of a rinse afterwards also helps to prevent drying out of the skin and hair coat.

Antihistamines
Antihistamines can be used with excellent safety in dogs. About one third of owners report success with antihistamines. These medications tend to own a variable effect between dogs.

For some allergic dogs, antihistamines work extremely well in controlling symptoms of allergic skin disease. For other dogs, extremely little effect is seen. Therefore, a minimum of three diverse types of antihistamines should be tried before owners give up on this therapy. Examples of antihistamines commonly used for dogs include Benadryl, Chlortrimeton, Atarax, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Clemastine.

However, antihistamines are considered to be worth trying in most cases since the side effects associated with antihistamines is low, and they are typically inexpensive medications.

Antibiotics and Antifungal Medications
Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat secondary skin infections. Anti-fungal medications are frequently needed to treat secondary yeast infections.

Flea Control
For dogs with this problem, a strict flea control regime must be maintained.

The best flea control options include the use of products such as Advantage, Revolution, Frontline, Comfortis, and Sentinel.

Supplements
The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the overall health of the skin. These fatty acids are natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. They reportedly are helpful in 20% of allergic dogs. My own experience puts this figure a little higher. They are certainly worth a attempt because they are not harmful and own virtually no side effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from plants containing gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

These supplements are diverse from those sold to produce a glossy jacket. Products that contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include Allergen Caps and Halo.

Hypoallergenic Diets
Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before. As mentioned previously, the quickest and best way to determine which foods your dog may or may not be allergic to is through diagnostic allergy testing. As dairy, beef, and wheat are responsible for 80% of food allergies in dogs, these items should be avoided. Novel protein sources used in hypoallergenic diets include venison, egg, duck, kangaroo, and types of fish not generally found in pet food.

Carbohydrate sources include potatoes, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin.

Hydrolyzed protein diets are diets in which the protein source has been synthetically reduced to little fragments. The theory behind feeding a hydrolyzed protein source is that the proteins in the food should be little enough that the allergic dog’s immune system will not recognize the protein fragments and will not mount an immune response resulting in an allergy.

Most pets with food allergies reply well when switched to a store-bought hypoallergenic diet, but occasionally an animal suffers from such extreme allergies that a homemade diet is the only option.

In this case, the diet should be customized with the aid of a veterinarian.

Corticosteroids and Immunosuppressive Agents
Cortisone products such as prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone reduce itching by reducing inflammation.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

These medications are not without side effects, so they need to be used judiciously in treating skin allergies. Steroids should be considered only when the allergy season is short, the quantity of drug required is little, or to relieve a dog in extreme discomfort. Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased need to urinate, and behavioral changes. Long-term use can result in diabetes and decreased resistance to infection. In some dogs, endless term, low-dose alternate day therapy is the only management protocol that successfully controls the atopic pet.

This protocol should be used only as a final resort after every other methods own been exhausted to avoid the potential long-term complications of the medication.

Cyclosporine (Atopica) is a medication, which seems to be fairly effective at reducing the inflammation associated with skin allergies and calming the immune system of the affected dog. However, the pricing of cyclosporine may be prohibitive for larger breed dogs.

Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Allergy shots are extremely safe, and numerous people own grand success with them; however, they are extremely slow to work.

It may be six to twelve months before improvement is seen. Once the allergens for the dog are identified, an appropriate immunotherapy is manufactured for that specific dog, and treatment can start. After the offending antigens are identified, then a mixture of these antigens can be formulated into a hyposensitizing injection. Depending on the type of agents used, these injections will be given over a period of weeks to months until the dog or cat develops immunity to the agents. After initial protection, an occasional booster may own to be given.

Environmental Control
If you know which substances your dog is allergic to, avoidance is the best method of control.

Even if you are desensitizing the dog with allergy shots, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Molds can be reduced by using a dehumidifier or placing activated charcoal on top of the exposed dirt in your home plants. Dusts and pollens are best controlled by using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Air conditioning can also reduce circulating amounts of airborne allergens because windows are then kept closed.

Thyroid Medication
Healthy skin and a normal hair jacket are the results of numerous factors, both external and internal.

There are several glands in the body responsible for the production of hormones that are vital for the regulation of other body functions as well as a normal skin surface and hair jacket. Hypothyroidism may result in poor skin and hair jacket, including hair loss or abnormal hair turnover, dull or brittle hair, altered pigmentation, and oily or dry skin. A blood test is a simplest and most direct way to tell if your dog is hypothyroid. Thyroid testing may include every or part of the following:

Baseline T4 Test or Entire T4 (TT4): This is the most common test. Dogs with a failure of the thyroid gland will own a lowered level of the T4 hormone.

However, there are other conditions that can cause the T4 to decrease, so if this test comes back positive for hypothyroidism your vet should recommend an additional blood test, either the T3 Test or the Baseline TSH test.

Baseline TSH Test: Measures the level of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. In combination with the T4 or T3 test, it provides a more finish picture of the hormonal activity of your dog’s thyroid gland.

Free T4 by RIA (radio immunoassay): The Free T4 test using RIA techniques does not appear to be more or less precise than the above TT4 test.

Free T4 by ED (equilibrium dialysis): This test may provide more precise data on the level of T4 hormone in your dog’s bloodstream.

Baseline T3 Test: In combination with the T4 or TSH test, these two blood tests can give a clearer picture of the hormone levels found in the bloodstream.

This test is not dependable when used alone. The T3 Test should always be given in combination with one of the other blood tests.

TSH Response Test: In this test, the veterinarian takes an initial measurement of the thyroid hormones in your dog’s bloodstream and then injects Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) into the vein. After 6 hours, a blood sample is drawn and the level of T4 is checked. If your dog has hypothyroidism, the level of T4 will not increase even after the TSH is injected. This is an expensive test and is being used less often due to decreased production by the manufacturers.

Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily dose of synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine).

Blood samples will need to be drawn periodically to assess the effectiveness of the dosage and make any adjustments necessary.

Successful management of the atopic, allergic dog is sometimes complicated and frustrating because multi-modal management is necessary in the majority of cases to control the allergic flare-ups. Proper diagnosis by a veterinarian and owner compliance and follow up care is essential to maximize the chances of curing or at least controlling the severely affected allergy patient.



One of the most mind-boggling choices dog and cat owners face is how to safely guard against fleas and ticks.

Those creepy crawlers aren’t just gross; they can transmit disease to both pets and people. Pets need protection, but numerous of the solutions on store shelves are loaded with chemicals that could be risky to their health—and yours.

So what’s a responsible pet lover to do? The key is to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing these harmful products to reach store shelves in the first put. Until the EPA does this, however, you can educate yourself about the risks and benefits of various treatment options, then bring that knowledge to the store.

There are ways to hold every your family members, including the furry ones, safe from dangerous pests and the most toxic ingredients.

The perils of pest protection

Most conventional flea and tick products—including collars, topical treatments, sprays, and dusts—are registered as pesticides and regulated by the EPA. (Those given orally, love pills, must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug istration.) But here’s the ugly truth: Numerous of the pesticides allowed for use on pets are linked to serious health issues in people, such as cancer and neurological and respiratory problems. Pets can also suffer: Skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure own been reported as a result of pet poisonings.

The government has faced criticism from NRDC and other watchdog groups about insufficient safety standards for these products.

Consumers, as well as some veterinarians, don’t know the whole tale, says NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman. “Many vets count on the EPA to make certain that the products on the market are safe if used correctly.” Unfortunately, the ingredients in these products are still fairly dangerous, and regular use can result in unsafe exposure, particularly for children and pregnant women.

For example, even low-level exposure to organophosphates and carbamates—two particularly dangerous families of pesticides found in some flea treatments as well as in agricultural and lawn products—have been linked to learning disabilities in children. For this reason, most household uses of these pesticides own already been banned.

Unfortunately, kids can still be exposed to them from their furry siblings’ flea collars or other products.

Going nontoxic. Fortunately for numerous families, fleas can be controlled without resorting to harmful chemicals. Always attempt the strategies under first before considering chemicals—safer chemicals—if additional protection is needed. Here’s what you can do:

Groom your pets regularly. Common soap and water will kill adult fleas. In addition, comb your animal’s fur with a fine-tooth flea comb, and dunk any critters into a container of sudsy water.

Clean, clean, clean. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly in boiling, soapy water, and vacuum and wipe below pet-frequented surfaces often, including behind and underneath furniture and between sofa cushions.

If you’re the victim of a flea infestation, Karyn Bischoff, a toxicologist at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, recommends doing this daily. For severe cases, professional steam cleaning may be needed for your carpets.

Take preemptive steps in your yard and garden. It helps to put beneficial nematodes—worms that eat flea larvae—in the soil where your pet is likely to frolic. Discover them in garden supply stores or online.

Diatomaceous ground is a less toxic option for the home and yard, says Rotkin-Ellman, “but it can be really damaging if it is inhaled or gets into your or your pet’s eyes.” Use caution and protective gear, and use it only in areas where pets and kids won’t be exposed.

Glance for products marketed to control pests, and avoid the helpful used in swimming-pool systems.

Be wary of products marketed as “natural.” Sadly, there’s no magic nontoxic bullet to wipe out these pests. Natural products and herbal remedies should also be approached with caution. They may not work—and some aren’t safe, says Bischoff. Numerous of these contain peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, cedarwood, or rosemary oil. While these may be safer than some of the synthetic chemicals, they own also been linked to allergies in both pets and humans, and not much is known about how well they actually work. If you give these a attempt, monitor your pet and family closely for adverse reactions.

Considering chemicals

There are varying degrees of harm when it comes to these products and the chemicals they contain.

Work with your vet to craft a custom plan for your pet, and hold some basic guidelines in mind to spot safer products:

Ask about oral flea-prevention treatments. Pills with the athletic ingredients lufenuron, nitenpyram, or spinosad can be a better option, for both animals and humans, than treatments that leave residue on fur that might get on hands or furniture. But oral meds need to be prescribed by a vet and are considerably more expensive, so they may not be a realistic option for every pet owners.

Identify safer ingredients. If chemical products are necessary for additional flea or tick control, NRDC recommends s-methoprene or pyriproxyfen, which are less toxic ingredients—but read the labels carefully because some products use them with other, more harmful pesticides.

Avoid products that include synthetic neonicotinoids (like imidacloprid and dinotefuran), which are harmful to bees and may be toxic to the developing brain of young kids.

Be wary of flea collars. These products can contain some of the most dangerous insecticides, including tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl, and propoxur. Some of the collars posing the greatest risk are already being phased out of production, and NRDC is suing the EPA to ban the relax. Until that happens (and until older products are off store shelves entirely), either avoid collars altogether or be vigilant about searching labels for those specific athletic ingredients.

Use additional caution with tick products. When it comes to tick prevention—or combination flea-and-tick products—the news is even grimmer.

Most products designed to repel these buggers include possible carcinogens and nervous-system toxins love fipronil, permethrin, pyrethrins, or imidacloprid. “Our recommendation for ticks is to use the least toxic option available, at the lowest level, and only when you need it,” Rotkin-Ellman says. If you live in an area where ticks and Lyme disease are prevalent, you probably need protection—but talk to your vet about how much and how often. Pregnant women and young children should minimize their exposure.

Buy a species-specific product. Two common ingredients in flea-and-tick products, permethrin and pyrethrins, are extremely toxic to cats.

Don’t put these ingredients on your dog, either, if you also own a cat that could snuggle up with or brush against it.

Choose the correct formula for your pet’s weight. An EPA investigation showed that little dogs (10 to 20 pounds) were most likely to own reactions such as rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures from topical treatments. Dogs that are ancient, young, ill, or on meds are also at higher risk. (Flea and tick control can interfere with other medications, rendering them ineffective or even poisonous.) There are even breed-specific sensitivities, so a conversation with your vet is in order before you decide how to proceed.

Don’t rely on shampoos. Flea and tick shampoo may seem love a safer, more cost-effective option, but they often contain numerous of the same ingredients as topical treatments and can cause adverse reactions and allergies, Bischoff says.

Moreover, they’re not meant to take the put of preventive options. “You’d use a shampoo for an animal with an infestation and then, generally, follow up with a topical treatment,” she says. Read labels, and take the same precautions with shampoos as you would with spot-on or collar products.

Report health issues immediately. If you or your pet reacts to a pet product containing pesticides, call your local poison control middle, talk to your doctor, and, later, report it to the National Pesticide Information Middle at

With warmer weather creeping in, you might discover your dog itching more often.

What medicine can dogs take for allergies

There are numerous causes of a dog’s itchy skin, but each one should require that you law out other conditions before starting a specific treatment.

Nothing makes you more frustrated than seeing your pet uncomfortable, so soothing your dog’s itchy skin takes priority. The two main things that give a dog itchy skin are pests and allergies, both of which can be seasonal. Need assist diagnosing him? Schedule an exam with your veterinarian. Even if your dog’s itching seems minor, you’ll desire to make certain you’re on the correct track and using safe products to curb his discomfort.


Physical and environmental skin diseases

Hot spots

Main article: Boiling spot (veterinary medicine)

A boiling spot, or acute moist dermatitis, is an acutely inflamed and infected area of skin irritation created and made worse by a dog licking and biting at itself.

A boiling spot can manifest and spread rapidly in a matter of hours, as secondary Staphylococcus infection causes the top layers of the skin to break below and pus becomes trapped in the hair. Boiling spots can be treated with corticosteroid medications and oral or topical antibiotic applications, as well as clipping hair from around the lesion. Underlying causes include flea allergy dermatitis or other allergic skin diseases. Dogs with thick undercoats are most susceptible to developing boiling spots.[8]

Acral lick granulomas

Lick granulomas are raised, generally ulcerated areas on a dog’s extremity caused by the dog’s own incessant, compulsive licking.

Compulsive licking is defined as licking in excess of that required for standard grooming or exploration, and represents a change in the animal’s typical behavior and interferes with other activities or functions (e.g., eating, drinking, playing, interacting with people) and cannot easily be interrupted.[9]


RELATED VIDEO: