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A pet with skin allergies can be quite concerning when you see them itching their skin all the time, but what can you do about it? Is there something you can do to reduce how much they itch? In this article, we cover ways to help your pet reduce itching as a result of allergies and other skin conditions.
So, how do you reduce itching in pets with skin allergies? Your vet will conduct a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your pet’s itching, but anti-itch medications, such as Oclacitinib (Apoquel), and Prednisolone may be prescribed to reduce the itching. Antihistamines can also be used in some cases, as well as medicated shampoos and topical ointments.
Read on to learn more about how to reduce itching in pets with skin allergies.
What Can I Give My Pet to Stop Itching From Allergies?
The best way to help your pet stop itching is to visit your veterinarian; they will be able to determine the cause of your pet’s itching and treat it in the appropriate manner.
Depending on the cause of your pet’s itching, the various itch remedies on the market may not be suitable and could make the problem worse. Avoid purchasing such items before knowing the cause of the problem, or without the go-ahead of a veterinarian.
With the go-ahead of your veterinarian, there are a few home itch-relief remedies that could help allergy-related itching in your pet;
Colloidal Oatmeal Baths
Colloidal oatmeal has been shown to have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to ease redness, swelling, and itchiness. What’s more, it’s completely non-toxic.
100% aloe vera (that doesn’t contain alcohol) is a great natural remedy for relieving redness and drawing heat away from the skin, which is great for pets that have been itching a lot. Apply directly to your pet’s affected areas.
How Do You Treat Pet Skin Allergies?
Veterinarians will first try to determine the cause of your pet’s allergies. Unfortunately, many allergies present with the same symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose. For this reason, veterinarians will likely undertake a range of diagnostic tests to work it out. These include:
- Skin scrapes
- Skin biopsies
- Food elimination trials
- Blood tests
Sadly, there is, in most cases, no cure for skin allergies in pets, and treatment is usually aimed at managing symptoms, such as itching, redness, and infection.
Once the cause of the itchiness or allergy is identified, your veterinarian will treat the concern in two ways; treating any infections, itchiness, and inflammation, and treating the underlying cause.
For infections that are a result of an allergy, vets will often use antibacterials in the form of medicated shampoos or topical ointments, often only severe infections require antibiotics. For environmental allergies, vets may choose to try to improve the skin barrier, increasing the body’s defense against environmental allergens. To reduce itching, there are a few medications that may help;
- Lokivetmab (Cytopoint). This is a monoclonal antibody therapy, designed to block the major itch chemical in the skin and is highly specific against skin itching with very few side effects.
- Oclacitinib (Apoquel). This aims to stop the activation of itch-causing inflammatory chemicals.
- Prednisolone. This is a steroid with potent anti-inflammatory properties, often used for more severe conditions.
- Antihistamines. These may also be prescribed for some pets, but may not be suitable in all cases, their effect is highly variable in animals.
How To Treat Severe Pet Skin Allergies
For more severe pet skin allergies that do not respond to regular treatment, other anti-inflammatory medications may be required. This may involve Ciclosporin to reduce the immune system’s response to allergens.
Other long-term treatments may include Immunotherapy, where a specific allergen has been identified. A vaccine can be produced to contain allergens, and desensitise the immune system.
However, this treatment will not work for all pet allergies, but often forms part of a treatment regime. Treatment of allergies requires multiple approaches in combination to tackle different aspects of the disease.
How Long Does It Take for Pet Skin Allergies to Go Away?
In most cases, there is no cure for allergies, but treatments can help to manage the condition over time. Immunotherapy is a great option for long-term conditions, but it can take approximately 6-8 months to begin seeing the effects.
Most allergy-related conditions will clear up with the identification of the cause of the allergy, and prescription of appropriate treatment.
What Causes Itchy Skin in Pets?
Itchy skin in pets can be caused by a multitude of things, not just allergies, which is why it’s incredibly important to consult your vet when you notice your pet excessively itching.
These can include:
- Bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Contact allergies
- Food allergies
Dermatology and Allergy Treatment at Knutsford Veterinary Surgery
If you think that your pet has a skin allergy or another condition that is causing excessive itching, get in touch with us and book a consultation today. We’ll help to get to the bottom of your pet’s condition, prescribe appropriate treatment, and help them get back to their best.