Dear Paws: My seven-year-old dog, “Cara,” itches terribly and scratches all the time. She may have allergies, but I’m not certain. I’ve tried several treatments including Benadryl, steroids, special shampoos and conditioners, sprays, pills, etc. I have her groomed regularly and during the last trip had her fur shaved off—because her fur tangles so badly when it’s long. Nothing helps! Is there anything you could suggest?
A: I’m sorry to hear how Cara is suffering. I’m sure you’ve taken her to the vet for a complete examination to rule out other underlying causes, but I do want to mention it for my other readers’ sake.
Dogs can suffer from allergies to many of the same things we humans do. Allergens like dust and dander, as well as flea bites, can cause allergic symptoms. Certain foods can also cause allergic reactions including skin reactions, itching, diarrhea and vomiting.
You’ve tried several common medications to relieve allergy symptoms, without any improvement. It’s time to consult the veterinarian again. Look at Cara’s diet, including snacks and “sneaked” food that you may have caught her trying to get at. Also, note her home environment, where she spends most of her time, and the objects, carpeting and plants around her. Talk with the vet about any other possible causes of her allergies.
Readers, have you been able to successfully treat your dog or cat’s allergies? Let us know in the comments below!