The scorching temperatures have been consistent and will continue into the dog days for us Houstonians. For now, we have to deal with the heat and the continued plethora of airborne allergens and ectoparasites (fleas & ticks). With it, we are seeing a large number of patients showing various symptoms of Atopy or seriously itchy cats and dogs.
50% of dogs with allergies will only present with itchy ears with or without an infection. They may shake their heads or rub their faces and ears on the carpet or the furniture (which we all love), or they may actually scratch at their ears. Other symptoms include licking the feet which owners often mistake for trying to clean themselves or scratching and chewing at themselves. The latter is the most obvious sign that your dog is suffering from allergies.
Cats are a whole different story! They are even harder to determine if they are expressing normal grooming behavior or overgrooming from allergies causing thin or coarse hair coats or small scabs under the hair which is from a secondary skin infection and is called miliary dermatitis. Sometimes these kitties will hide more than normal or even skip a meal if they are especially miserable.
What we can do:
The first thing we do at CHAH for these guys, is make sure they are on appropriate flea control. This goes for everybody. We have found fleas on indoor cats that live in high-rises here in Houston! With the introduction of Nexgard or Bravecto for dogs and Bravecto topical for cats, we finally have preventatives that work quickly so that fleas do not have time to repeatedly bite your pet.
For dogs, we have a game changer in our allergy fighting arsenal called Cytopoint. This injection works for 4-6 weeks for most of our canine patients and comes without the side effect of steroids or other medications. We have had really good results with Cytopoint and are happy to help make our patients more comfortable.
For now, we don’t have the same type of injection for cats, but it will likely be available soon. In the meantime, we have some other treatments that will give your kitty some relief quickly.
Give us a call anytime to schedule an appointment if you think your pet may have allergies.