Sometimes we neglect to think about the fact that dogs have allergies too, but in any case, they do, and sometimes they’re bad. You can tell when your pup doesn’t feel good because they lay around and sleep a lot, sneeze a lot, scratch a lot, and have mucus filled noses, mouthes and eyes. If you notice this about your dog in high allergy season, you may want to talk with your vet about trying one of these powerful treatments for dog allergies!
Humans take antihistamines for allergies, and dogs can too! The great news is that if it works, it works really well – we’re talking powerful stuff. The not so great news? It only works for about 30% of dogs. So, the first round of treatment for your dog could be Benadryl, Claritin, or some other antihistamine, and it has the potential to do really great things to relieve their symptoms. You’ll want to let your vet decide which medicine and what dosage is appropriate, and you’ll know pretty quickly whether or not it’s working and whether or not you should continue to treat them in the same way in the future.
One thing to keep in mind with antihistamines is that though they provide great relief from allergy symptoms, they don’t provide relief from the allergies themselves, which will likely worsen over time. Dogs’ bodies, in turn, will eventually stop responding to the treatment, and you’ll need to move on to a different choice antihistamine, or perhaps another powerful treatment.
The step up for dogs in treating tough allergies is to put them on corticosteroids. Similar to the human reaction to steroids, it tends to be a very effective method. The downside to treating with steroids is that there are possible severe and permanent side effects if you use them long term. For this reasons, most specialists encourage us to treat dogs in this way only if we’re looking for other long term solutions by allergy testing or trying other medications.
One last very effective method for treating allergies in dogs is to give them medication to suppress their immune systems. Essentially, your dog’s immune system flares up each time an allergen is detected, causing the allergy problem. These medications actually suppress the immune system so that it will not respond to harmless allergens.
As with the steroids, the immunosuppressant medications tend to come with side effects that may bother the gastrointestinal process. Keep an eye on your dog to see how he or she tolerates this medication if it works for them – you don’t want to swap out one bad situation for another.
If you see your dog struggling with allergies, talk to the vet to see if you can try a antihistamine, steroids, or an immunosuppressant – any one of these powerful treatments are likely to provide plenty of relief for your furry friend.