Allergies & Itching

Allergies & Itching

Pet Itching for Relief? We Can Help!

If your pet is always itching, licking her feet, or chewing on her coat, or if she has a dull coat or flaky skin, there’s a good chance she has skin allergies. Skin allergies are often caused by flea allergies, food allergies, and/or environmental allergies, and to treat these conditions, we must first figure out what’s causing them.

Dietary recommendations. The skin is a reflection of overall health. In some cases, we may recommend a diet formulated specifically for skin health. In others, we may recommend a limited-ingredient diet (LID) or hydrolyzed protein diet to evaluate a pet for food allergy. These diet trials usually last six weeks or more.

Allergen immunotherapy. The only treatment for allergies that is directed at the underlying triggers is known as allergen immunotherapy. By introducing small amounts of allergen extracts (pollens, dust mites, and mold spores), we can help your pet’s immune system become desensitized to future natural exposure. We offer several options for allergen immunotherapy. With allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), a customized extract is made for your pet based on results of an intradermal test (IDT) or molecular allergen serum test. With regionally specific immunotherapy (RESPIT), an extract standardized for the region is prescribed, without relying on allergy test results. Both methods have certain advantages. Each is available as either an injectable or oral prescription.

Apoquel® therapy. As one of the first clinics in the Northwest to receive Apoquel when it was launched, we are very experienced in its use. Apoquel blocks a receptor for a molecule (IL-31) that signals to dogs that they are itchy. This tablet is by prescription only and is used for atopic dermatitis or “allergic dermatitis,” either short or long-term. We monitor our patients at least every six months for the first two years that they take Apoquel. It is not approved for cats.

Cytopoint® therapy. Cytopoint, also known as canine atopic dermatitis immunotherapeutic, or CADI, is a monoclonal antibody directed against IL-31. It is given by subcutaneous injection every 4-8 weeks to dogs with atopic dermatitis. We gained early and extensive experience with Ctyopoint before it became more widely available.