Dog and cat allergy treatment
Atopic dermatitis is a lifelong condition, and for that reason any treatment must be continued for life. The best solution is to avoid contact with allergens, but most of the time this is impossible, especially with allergens like house dust-mites, grass, and tree pollen. However, there are measures that can help to minimize contact and different approaches that can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Immunotherapy – The recommended treatment for atopy
The recommended treatment for atopy is immunotherapy. It is the only treatment that stops an allergy from progressing, by making the immune system less sensitive, or totally insensitive, to the allergens that trigger the allergic reaction.
Immunotherapy can be administered subcutaneously or orally. Studies show that around 75% of patients have a positive response to it. The effect is usually seen after 5 months, but can take up to a year.
Immunotherapy is effective, safe for long-term use, and can be combined with other medications. We offer the only licensed immunotherapy in Europe and is the product of choice under the European veterinary medicine regulations (Directive 2004/28/EC).Read more
The multimodal approach
A multimodal approach to allergy is very important and recommended by Dermatologists. In conjunction with immunotherapy, other products can help control the symptoms, as required, such as topical products (shampoos, ear cleansers), essential fatty acids supplements or symptomatic medication.
Products that prevent allergen exposure can be very effective for avoiding symptoms. Although most allergens are impossible to avoid completely, some preventive options can help.
Pet’s Relief Allergone is an innovative allergen-neutralising spray designed to reduce the exposure to house-dust allergens. It provides long-term protection of up to 5 months after a single application.
It can neutralise house dust-mite allergens because of its core of microcapsules filled with a mixture of substances that alter the chemical structure of allergens particles.
It reduces the exposure to dust allergens by forming a polymer film that glues dust particles together to form larger particles, thus stopping them from floating in the air. The aggregated particles can then be removed easily by conventional cleaning.Read more
Food can often be an underlying cause of atopy in dogs and cats. Many animals are allergic to the proteins found in various ingredients in their food eg. meat, fish, dairy and soy.
Doing a food elimination trial is essential in helping to diagnose atopy.
If completed successfully, and if the trial proves an allergy to something in the animals diet, then removing that offending protein from the diet can often result in a complete resolution or reduction of the symptoms.
Choosing the right diet to feed during the trial is important in determining the success of the trial. We have a selection of novel protein diets that can be used for elimination trials.See our novel protein diets
Topicals and supplements
As an effective add-on treatment, daily supplements of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as treatment with medicated shampoos, spray, gels, wipes or ear cleansers, can alleviate skin reactions and/or minimise the growth of bacteria and yeast.
Bathing can relieve itching and remove environmental allergens from the pet’s skin. It is important to choose the right shampoo, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can cause dry skin.
Many allergic patients have ear problems and sometimes this can be the only symptom of their allergy. Choosing the correct ear cleanser and using it properly can help reduce recurrent ear problems. Identifying the underlying cause (such as bacteria, yeast, wax or a combination of these), helps identify the which cleaner in most appropriate for long-term maintenance cleansing.
Allergic patients are also known to have a poor skin barrier function. The skin barrier acts as a defence against allergens and micro-organisms that can be an underlying cause of secondary skin problems. Topical sprays can help restore skin barrier function, thus minimising the allergic response to environmental triggers.Read more
In addition, there are a number of short-term medications available that help to control symptoms. These symptomatic medications, such as corticosteroids, cyclosporin, oclacitinib and lokivetmab, are useful for suppressing the allergic reaction, however they do not treat the allergy itself. They can have significant disadvantages and come with side-effects, especially in the long-term.
Our recommendation is to use such products short-term and in conjunction with immunotherapy, to ensure the patient is comfortable, but with a long-term goal of only administering immunotherapy for the patient’s condition.
Pruritic threshold and flare-ups
In patients with a flare-up, the symptoms suddenly appear or become worse. This means that the patient has risen above the “itch threshold”. This can happen for several reasons:
- When there is more contact with allergens
- From a secondary infection (yeast, bacterial, etc.)
- From another skin irritation (due to fleas, swimming, etc.)
With a flare-up, it is important to find the cause and prevent it. If the cause is unknown, it can sometimes be sufficient to relieve the symptoms using temporary symptomatic medication.
Visit our online shop for veterinarians to read more about our multimodal product offering.