Prevention of seasonal allergies: act before the symptoms appear!
Unlike humans, dogs suffering from allergies rarely have a runny nose, ocular discharge or sneezing. The main symptom is rather itchy skin. If you see your dog licking, chewing or scratching excessively at the ends of the legs, face, armpits, abdomen or shaking its head frequently, you may suspect allergies and consult your veterinarian.
There are several types of allergens that can trigger a reaction in your dog. We can divide allergies into two broad categories: food allergies and seasonal or atopy allergies. In this chronicle, we will linger on seasonal allergies.
The most common allergens are the pollens of plants or trees in your pet’s environment. For example, Ragweed is especially known to trigger allergies in August. These allergens will be inhaled or absorbed by the pores of the skin and trigger an exaggerated immune reaction. To distinguish seasonal allergies from food allergies, it is important to know when clinical sings occur. Food allergies persist throughout the year (as long as the animal consumes the allergenic food) while seasonal allergies usually stop when the first freezing occurs. Other elements present in our homes such as dust mites or household products can also trigger an allergic reaction that will continue as long as the animal is in contact with them.
If a seasonal allergy is suspected or has been diagnosed, the goal of the treatment is to reduce the itching in order to keep your pet comfortable. Although the ideal procedure is an allergy test with a veterinary dermatologist and then to desensitize the identified allergens, it is possible to treat your pet according to the intensity of the allergy with other options.
The least severe allergy cases could be controlled by the addition of omega-3-6 supplements to the diet. By inhibiting the synthesis of certain chemical mediators associated with inflammation, the use of Omega 3 will be relevant for all animals suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases. The fatty acids of the Omega 6 series are indispensable to the good health of the cell membranes. An Omega 6 deficiency will result in dry, sparse hair. The skin will also be more fragile to dehydration and infections. In addition to giving them a beautiful coat, the OMEGA3-6 will reduce the risk of skin infection and itching.
A sensitive skin diet has also been developed to meet the needs of dogs with skin or allergy problems. In addition to containing a large quantity of Omega 3-6, this food is rich in antioxidant and contains Circumine, aloe and a vitamin complex. This prescription diet will optimize skin healing, reduce inflammation and bacterial proliferation on the skin. The efficiency of this diet will be increased if administered three to four weeks before the onset of itching so ideally in early June.
If the use of therapeutic diets or supplements is not sufficient, it is advisable to administer medication to your dog as a poorly controlled allergy may lead to other conditions such as bacterial infection or self-mutilation.
It is established that most dogs do not respond well to the antihistamines used for humans. The administration of cortisone has long been the only effective drug to control allergies, but is associated with potential side effects especially If used long term.
A seasonal allergy vaccine!
It is actually a monoclonal antibody injection that specifically targets molecules responsible for the itching reaction in allergic dogs. This injection has the effect of interrupting the itching cycle in allergic dogs for a period of one month. Even though its effectiveness starts as early as 24 hours after Injection, it is recommended to administer as soon as the first signs of allergy appear or even before for dogs whose allergy period is known.
Since last year , we can offer a new generation of medicine to reduce itching without having side effects like those associated with cortisone. This molecule, much like the injection mentioned above, acts directly and specifically on proteins (cytokines) responsible for your dog to be itchy when suffering from allergies. The itching mechanism is therefore stopped at the base without having any side effects.
Ask your veterinarian if your dog could take advantage of this pharamceutical breakthrough !