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Itchy and Scratchy

Does this sound like your pet?

Pets can be allergic to grasses, trees, plant pollen, dust mites and moulds. Fleas, ticks and other biting insects can also set off an attack of the itchies.

Itching quickly leads to self-trauma of the skin and this causes secondary skin infections.

Unfortunately, treatment becomes more complicated and more costly once infection occurs. If you have an itchy pet, the earlier we intervene the better.

For those who own pets where the itch tends to hang around all summer long, you can breathe a sigh of relief. There are many medicines available to get your pet safely through the allergy season. One medication in particular may help reduce your pet’s response to the allergens that cause a problem, holding any irritation at bay.

Some dogs may find relief with an antihistamine, but dosages are different in pets than they are in people and the correct antihistamine must be tailored specifically for your pet.

In some cases, it is necessary to use a steroid, such as prednisolone to control your pet’s itching. When used correctly, these can settle the itch and help your pet feel more comfortable but we try to use the lowest possible dose to decrease any unwanted side effects.

Another approach is to have your pets skin tested to find out which allergens are a problem.

Allergy vaccines are then formulated and your pet is put on a desensitisation program as a way to manage the allergies in the future.

Remember, never use your own medication on your pet, as not all 'people' medications are safe to use in animals. Ask us for information on a treatment approach that is best for your pet.

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