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Treating atopy in dogs
When your dog is itching and scratching more than usual, a flea infestation, allergic reaction or skin infection is usually to blame. Allergic reactions to fleas are the most common type, especially in dogs that have not been given flea and tick preventative pet drugs like Frontline Plus or Comfortis. The second most common cause of allergies is atopy, which is the pet's immune system overreacting to substances such as pollen, tobacco smoke or dust.
Like in humans, atopic allergies tend to flare up when the seasons change. The spring can be particularly challenging for pets that are allergic to pollen. If your pet starts to scratch its nose or rub it on the floor, chew its paws, scratch its ears and shake its head continually, you may want to discuss allergies with your veterinarian. Boston terriers, Cairn terriers, Dalmatians, English bulldogs, English and Irish setters and a handful of other breeds are particularly prone to atopy.
There are a number of ways to treat allergies in dogs. Your vet may recommend a particular pet shampoo to soothe the itching. Epi Soothe Shampoo, Allermyl Shampoo and Malapet Medicated Shampoo are all designed to soothe the skin after an allergic reaction.
You can also give your dog pet products like antihistamines or a natural remedy to reduce allergy symptoms. Clemastine Antihistamine is an over-the-counter antihistamine that has long-lasting allergy relief effects. Products like Yucca Intensive or HomeoPet Nose Relief may also control allergic reactions.
Along with itchy skin, nose, ears and eyes, your dog's eyes may water excessively when it is having an allergic reaction to pollen or dust. If your dog is white, tears can leave a rusty colored stain around its eyes. These stains can be removed with Angels' Eyes for Cats and Dogs.
If your dog has been excessively scratching itchy skin, it may help to start giving it a fatty acid supplement like Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet. In addition to restoring the dog's skin health, omega-3 fatty acids help the body produce more anti-inflammatory hormones, which may reduce the animal's reaction to allergens. You can give this to your dog with its pet food each day, or hide it inside Greenies Pill Pockets. These tasty treats can be used as a reward during your daily training sessions.