With late summer and early fall comes the surge in the fall pollen counts. That means itching, scratching, or biting if your pet suffers from inhalant allergies. Dogs and cats show their allergies through their skin, unlike humans who typically suffer with sneezing, runny eyes, and a runny nose. Spots that are the hallmarks for allergic skin disease (atopy) include the feet, groin, armpits (axilla), and ears. Secondary skin and ear infections are not uncommon. Luckily, we now have many options to help your pet. Antihistamines (Benadryl, hydroxyzine, etc.), combination drugs, allergy testing and desensitization, drugs to block cell receptors, and of course steroids. Each choice has benefits and side effects. Once one of our veterinarians has determined that your pet suffers from atopy, we can work together to find the best solution for both you and your pet.
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.