Allergies in dogs and cats can be airborne, food related or contact. Common allergens are pollen, trees, dander, fabrics; etc.
Food related allergies come from proteins and fillers (grains) found in most commercial diets. Hypoallergenic or all natural organic foods help prevent allergies and strengthen the skin and hair coat.
Atopic dermatitis can be seasonal or chronic (all year round). Pets will be itchy and respond rapidly to steroid (cortisone) medications like prednisone, dexamethasone; etc. But long term steroids and antibiotics can be harmful to your petís health and internal organs.
Atopic or allergic dogs will be itchy or have lesions around the eyes and mouth, rectum, underarms, abdomen, feet and be prone to ear infections. In cats, there is hair loss or crusts around the face or on the sides of the body.
There are various products that help protect the skin and treat lesions associated with allergies:
- Medicated shampoos, like Excel Hydrocortisone & Synergylabs Oatmeal & Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
- Oral supplements, Skin & Coat Organic Powder
- Natural anti-inflamatories like Azmira, Yucca Intensive Anti-Inflammatory
- Soothing skin sprays, like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray With Aloe Vera
Hot Spots (Superficial /Moist Dermatitis):
This is a bacterial infection on the skin of dogs or cats, caused by Staph bacteria. The skin becomes infected and remains moist, causing itching and redness. This can be caused by allergies, scratching, chewing, fleas, excessive moisture; it is most common during humid weather.
Treatment: Clip and clean the area with an anti-bacterial solution like Nolvasan, Wound Cleanser.
You can also apply topical pain relieving sprays like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray With Aloe Vera
. If your dog still in discomfort, consult your veterinarian.
Accumulation of wax, hair, excessive moisture and lack of cleaning can all be the causes of an ear infection. Sometimes parasites like ear mites or foreign bodies can also cause ear problems.
Dogs that have long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections because they provide a dark moist environment ideal for growth of yeast and bacteria. There are certain types of bacteria like pseudomonas that can be very hard to treat.
Some signs that your dog may have an ear infection are: scratching, head shaking, redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pus or odor. Your veterinarian may need to examine deep in the ear to see how bad the infection is.
It is recommended to clean ears once a week or after bathing or swimming with an ear cleaner or ear drying product like Virbac, Epi-Otic.
If your pet has ear mites you can use a product like, Fort Dodge, Eradimite.
If your pet has bacteria or yeast you can use a product like Zymox, Otic Enzymatic Solution .
Tooth Brushing Tips:
It is better if you start when they are puppies, but it is never to late to try it.
Try to do it at a time when you and your pet are relaxed. Start by dipping the toothbrush in chicken or beef broth. Lift the upper lip and insert your doggy tooth brush inside their mouth, rub gently on their teeth.
This will get them used to the process, try it a few days a week until they get used to it.
Then use a dog-safe toothpaste and apply it to the brush. Gently rub the teeth in a circular motion concentrating on the upper and lower teeth, starting at the canines all the way back to the molars.
Repeat this 3 times a week and make this a rewarding experience for your pet!
There are many treats like Greenies, that can help maintain clean teeth and fresh breath in between brushings. If your pets like to chew, the CET Rawhide Chews can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup. These can be used with the CET Aquadent water additive for optimal results.
Always use a pet-friendly toothpaste and mouth rinse.