Even though we do not see much of the season changes at our veterinary clinic in Tampa, our pets can certainly be prone to seasonal allergies. Our veterinarians are currently seeing an increase in the amounts of allergy cases over the past months. One of the primary culprits in our area, is the good old oak tree. There are certainly many causes of allergies in pets (parasitic, food, etc) so it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian early on so we can try and figure out what is causing the allergy and treat it appropriately.
We offer many different forms of allergy treatments ranging from symptomatic treatment to actual allergy testing. Trying to identify what is driving your pet’s allergy will allow your veterinarian to come up with a better, safer long term treatment plan for the allergies. Many times, your pet has secondary skin conditions (yeast or bacterial infections) that have to be treated along with the underlying allergy. This will will generally be done with antibiotics or anti fungals in order treat these complicating secondary infections, but the fact remains that identifying and controlling the allergy is important for long term control.
Many times, even if the offending allergen is identified, lifelong treatment is needed to keep your pet from itching. Historically, steroids have been the cornerstone of treatment. Our veterinarians in Tampa have many alternatives to help keep the usage of steroids to a minimum. These options include antihistamines as well as desensitization through immunotherapy. Also, there are some new medications coming on the market that seem to be working well to control itching instead of steroids. (Let’s keep our fingers crossed!)
If your pet is itching, contact your veterinarian and discuss the possibility of allergies. We can help you get the relief and comfort that you and your pet deserve.