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Our Guide to Antihistamines for Dogs and Dog Allergy Medication

Explore the path to relief for your furry companion with our comprehensive guide to antihistamines for dogs and dog allergy medication. Learn how to identify and manage allergies, alleviate discomfort, and ensure your pet's well-being. Unlock the secrets to a happier, healthier pet with our expert insights and tips.

Treatment Options for Allergic Dermatitis

Allergic dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin due to an allergic reaction. Allergies in dogs can be triggered by various allergens including pollen (from grasses, plants and trees), dust mites, proteins in certain foods, fleas and contact with various grasses and plants.

Symptoms of allergic dermatitis in dogs often manifest as excessive itching/biting/licking, redness, a rash, hair loss and sometimes skin infections due to the excessive scratching and licking breaking down the skin barrier allowing bacteria or yeast into the skin.

Treating dogs with Allergic dermatitis can be frustrating as ongoing flare ups are common when the animal comes in contact with the allergen.

Treatment Options for Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs:

  1. Avoidance of Allergens: Identifying and avoiding the allergen whenever possible is the first line of defence.
  2. Bathing: Regular bathing with medicated or soothing dog shampoos removes allergens and bacteria from the skin which will help soothe the skin and alleviate symptoms. Applying a moisturiser after will help improve the skin barrier thereby reducing the opportunity for allergens and bacteria to re-enter. Wipes can also be used to remove the allergens and bacteria from the skin.
  3. Supplements:
    • Supplement chews containing fish Omega 3 have shown to reduce the severity & frequency of allergic reactions. Look for a supplement that also contains natural anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and a prebiotic.
    • High quality probiotics (containing pre & postbiotics) can improve gut health which can positively affect allergic dermatitis. A quality pre & probiotic can allow the immune system to work more effectively to keep on top of mild reactions.
  4. Dog allergy medication (seek veterinary advice before providing to your dog)
  5. Antihistamines for dogs: Antihistamines are commonly used to relieve itching and other allergic symptoms in dogs. It is important you speak with your vet about the correct dosing for your dog. Some common antihistamines for dogs include:
    • Zyrtec (Cetirizine): A popular & safe antihistamine that can be effective in reducing itching and inflammation in dogs.
    • Claratyne (Loratadine): Similar to cetirizine, loratadine can help relieve itching and allergic symptoms in dogs.
    • Telfast (Fexofenadine): While less commonly used in veterinary medicine, fexofenadine can also be prescribed for dogs with allergies. This shouldn’t be taken by dogs that are on antifungal treatment or on certain types of antibiotics.
  6. Prescription Medications: In more severe cases, veterinarians may prescribe:
    • corticosteroids - work well to reduce the itching and inflammation however they do have short term (increased drinking, eating & urinating) and long-term side effects. Topical creams containing corticosteroids with or without a local anaesthetic ingredient often work well to reduce the initial skin inflammation and have less side effects than tablets.
    • Apoquel tablets – daily tablets that work quickly to reduce itching and have very few side effects, but they are expensive.
    • Cytopoint injection – reduces the itchiness with very few possible side effects. Usually required every 4-8 weeks.
    • immunosuppressive medications (eg. Atopica) help pets with overactive immune systems however they are expensive and have potential side effects.
      Dog Allergy Medication
  7. Allergen Immunotherapy (desensitisation): Involves allergy testing to see what your dog is allergic to. Then an individual formulation containing those allergens is made up and given to your dog by injection – starting with tiny doses and progressively increasing the dose over time. These injections aim to desensitise the immune system to the allergen(s).

Allergic dermatitis can significantly impact the quality of life of affected dogs, causing discomfort, irritation, and even secondary infections. However, with proper identification of allergens and appropriate treatment, many dogs can experience relief from their symptoms and lead happy, itch-free lives. If your dog is exhibiting signs of allergic dermatitis, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and develop a tailored treatment plan for your furry friend.


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