Allergies in Dogs

Itch and Scratch, Itch and Lick, Itch and Bite, Itch and Be Miserable

What drives your clients crazier than their dog that constantly scratches, licks, bites at itself and looks pathetic? Your clients will do anything to give their dog some relief so they both can get some rest.

You can help your clients realize that dogs get allergic to the many of the same things as people. Unlike people who sneeze, cough, have a runny nose, teary eyes or worse yet, asthma, dogs usually do not show their allergy symptoms the same way. Most of the reactions in dogs is via their skin.

The most common things dogs are allergic to are:

  • Environmental floaties like molds, pollen and dust
  • Flea saliva
  • Food ingredients

Clients understand environmental allergies – calling it hay fever and it may be seasonal. For the “flenial” client, you may have to find an elusive flea or show that wet flea dirt is really blood. Helping clients manage food allergies takes a lot of patience and discipline for everyone on the veterinary team.

No matter what the cause, these poor dogs scratch, bite, and lick at themselves. Many dogs will compulsively scratch at their ears or lick their feet even creating painful sores. And that causes other problems to manager.

Besides trying to eliminate or reduce the cause of the allergies and offering systemic treatment, clients really want to do something to help their itchy dog. They want to help relieve the irritating cycle of itch and scratch and improve their dog’s quality of life. Regular bathing with an oatmeal-based product along with a moisturizing conditioner can help make the dog and the owner feel better. Even a quick cleansing with some medicated wipes can bring temporary relief.

Encourage your client to keep working with your veterinary team and not to give up on their itchy dog. It will be worth the effort for them both to rest easy.