Dog Dermatology Treatment
At Broadway Veterinary Hospital, we strive to practice the gold standard of veterinary care.
This includes education both here in the clinic with our doctors and making sure that our clients, or prospective clients, have medically sound resources that they can access and utilize at any time. We understand and empathize with how frustrating and tedious dermatology maintenance is, and how expensive it can become over time. We have compiled some tips and advice here, as well as links to our partner company’s websites that offer rewards for frequently used medications to help ease the financial sting.
(https://www.zoetispetcare.com/rewards - Reward site for Apoquel & Convenia)
So first things first- we want to be transparent and say that in many cases, dermatology care and treatment is lifelong maintenance, rather than curative. Your pet needs patience and determination from you as we figure out individualized care for your pet’s specific dermatologic issues. You can do it, it just takes some expertise and that is why we are dedicated to helping you and your pet.
We want to help you set realistic expectations, and preparation is key. Take for example the spring and fall seasons. Schedule an annual exam in the off-season- summer, or winter, and ask your veterinarian for an extra supply of medications, shampoo, or other treatments so when that itchiness starts to sneak back in later in the year, you have medications on board to start immediately giving to your pet. This also helps your pet to potentially not develop additional issues that can sometimes complicate dermatology conditions, such as bacterial infections that arise when the pet has been chewing, licking, or scratching to the point of making sores on the skin. Bacterial and underlying skin infections can really affect a pet’s ability to bounce back from a dermatology crisis and is an undesired diversion on the road of maintenance.
Some dermatology conditions can be managed by focusing on the food your pet eats. You may wonder whether or not your pet might have a food allergy. We recommend discussing your pet’s diet with your doctor, as well as any foods that you might be interested in switching your pet too. Did you know that it’s pretty rare for a pet to have a gluten allergy? In fact, we recommend a diet with grain in it. http://theanimalhospitable.com/storage/app/media/Articles/dog-food-brands-most-linked-to-heart-disease-reports-named.pdf
Your doctor might recommend a food trial of a hydrolyzed diet or a diet called Ultamino that Royal Canin carries. A food trial requires an investment of time and dedication. Your pet will be instructed to not eat anything other than that food for a predetermined amount of time. Sometimes your pet may benefit from a probiotic that helps promote healthy gut bacteria.
We often hear dermatology specialists questioning why a pet wasn’t put on a flea or tick preventative. Did you know a pet can have allergies to fleas? Not only are they a nuisance, but your beloved pet can actually have allergies to them and that can cause dermatology difficulties. So be sure to discuss flea and tick preventatives with your doctor at your dermatology consultation.
Buy 2 doses of Bravecto and get a $10 rebate or Buy 4 doses of Bravecto and get a $25 rebate at https://us.bravecto.com/rebate-offer
We can also do specific allergy testing to determine what allergens your pet reacts to. In partnership with VARL, we offer VARL Liquid Gold Allergy Testing. They have developed a method of serum allergy testing that accurately identifies the culprit allergens that are the causes of atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats. They can have allergies to pollen from weeds, trees, grasses, molds, insects, foods, and even human skin.
Allergy testing allows us to pinpoint the exact environmental allergens your individual pet is allergic to. We can then use this information to have the lab create a tailored allergy vaccine for your pet. This “vaccine” contains micro doses of the allergens your pet is allergic to. The vaccine is shipped to us and we teach you how to administer the vaccine as injections at home following a specific timeline. The goal, over time, is to desensitize your pet's body to these allergens. The long-term goal of treatment is to give one injection every 1-3 weeks to control allergy symptoms. This is an excellent option, especially for young animals who will likely be dealing with allergy symptoms for the rest of their lives. Allergy desensitization isn’t foolproof, however, 80% of animals will respond very well, another 15% will partially respond and 5% will not respond at all. Your pet needs to be on the injections for at least one year before we can determine if they are going to help him or her or not. Most pets start to respond favorably to the injections after being on them for 3-4 months. Another important thing to note is that allergy testing and vaccine desensitization is only an option for pets with environmental allergies, not food allergies. Unfortunately, there is no blood test that can accurately diagnose food allergies.
Above all, if you are managing a chronically itchy or irritable pet, please call us at the first sign of licking, scratching, or chewing. You aren’t overreacting. You are buying valuable time for yourself and your pet. What may have worked for your pet might no longer work. You may have moved into a new community that has a different internal or external environment. Your pet may be getting different treats that they aren’t used to, or you might not be able to afford the food that they used to eat. Please call us - we are here to help you and your pet. Managing dermatology cases requires pivoting, diligence and determination. Put yourself in their shoes (paws) to imagine how they are feeling, but even more so, the sheer relief and joy that they and you will feel once they get what they need. Then you and your pet can enjoy a better quality of life together.