Itchy dogs are one of the most common reasons pet owners visit their veterinarian, especially in the Austin area! Dogs are often in a lot of discomfort from being itchy during an allergy flare-up, and some dogs will have chronic respiratory issues as well. If you notice excessive licking (especially of the paws), scratching, chewing of body parts, rubbing the body on the ground or furniture, notice hair loss, or frequent sneezing, your dog could be suffering from allergies. Of course, a thorough physical exam by your veterinarian is needed to rule out other possible causes of these symptoms.

Environmental allergies (inhalled weeds, pollens, grasses, etc) are by far the most common reason for a dog to suffer from allergies, though some dogs do have a food allergy, or more rarely a true contact allergy. At Lone Star Animal Hospital, we will discuss all of these with you based on physical exam findings and the information you share with us at this appointment. Dogs should be seen right away when symptoms arise, as the longer they suffer, the more severe secondary infections will become.

Managing Allergies

It is important to set expectations when it comes to treating canine allergies (atopy) that these pets are maintained, rather than cured. Atopy is a life-long concern. It may improve in a different environment, but much like allergies in people, treatment is supportive and continuous. This means that allergies will be something these dogs (and their owners) intermittently battle.

Treatments are aimed and resolving secondary infections, boosting the skin’s protective barrier function, and reducing the itch. Some treatments include, antibiotics, antifungal medications, topical therapy, medicated shampoos, and even injectable antibody therapy. To learn more about what we can do for your itchy dog, please schedule an appointment to discuss a tailored plan for your pet.