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Meet Winston…

Dr. Williams recommended a board certified veterinary surgeon, Dr. Kristin Sandman, DVM, DACVS, to perform surgery on Winston’s leg. Winston had a TTA (tibial tuberosity advancement) surgery performed on is left hind stifle under general anesthesia.

g Scout was seen for ear infections and itching. We have tested Scout’s blood and her thyroid levels. Blood tests do not diagnose skin allergies, but they rule out other issues; such as thyroid disease or Cushing’s disease. Scout was diagnosed with environmental allergies based on her symptoms. Recurring ear infections and itching are signs of environmental allergies.

Skin allergies in pets are usually environmental allergies. The allergens; pollen, dust, and dander will touch the pets skin and cause an immune response as the pet’s skin barrier to the environment is poor.  The allergens get through the skin where the immune system starts working on the invader and produces proteins that then attach to the nerves on the skin and cause itching. Once the dog starts itching this weakens the skin causing more allergens to get in and make the itching worse. Seasonal/environmental allergies will usually start between the ages of one to three years old.  The itching usually occurs around the mouth, eyes, armpits, abdomen, lower legs and feet. If your dog is itchy on their back that is usually a sign of flea allergies.

There are many ways to help combat these types of allergies. The simplest way to treat can be over the counter allergy medicine that we humans would use. These work well for a mild allergy or one that is short term. Please consult one of the doctors for recommendations and doses of medicine. Another treatment is steroids; however, these cause an increase in thirst, appetite, and urination.  Steroids also have many long-term effects on the immune system. Newer developments in the allergy field have created allergy medicines that do not use steroids. One is Apoquel this medicine is a pill taken once daily. It works by blocking the itch response to the allergen. If the pet is not itching, then the skin can heal, and this will cut down on the allergy response as well. The latest is an injection given every 4 to 8 weeks. It is a biological therapy which produces antibodies to link to your dog’s immune system and then the itch signals do not go to your dog’s brain, so the itch response is prevented.

Other therapies that our veterinarians might suggest to help the skin are; Fatty Acids these prevent the build-up of inflammatory chemicals, so the skin can heal. They need to build up in your pet’s system for at least 6 weeks. The vet might also recommend weekly baths with a soothing prescription shampoo to clean the allergens off your dog’s skin. The fewer allergens on the skin the less reaction to them there will be. It also helps to clean your pet’s bedding frequently to get rid of environmental allergens.

Scout was much improved when she started on Apoquel. She started having fewer ear infections and was less itchy. When Cytopoint came out she started on that therapy. She didn’t need a second injection for 2 months and hasn’t had any itching issues or ear infections.  Scout is now much more comfortable.

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