Allergies are triggered by diverse environmental, dietary, and seasonal factors. Although hyposensitization therapy is often the best option to clear up an allergy, there are many ways to reduce symptoms and increase treatment effectiveness. It should be noted that, although these tips and tricks will decrease allergy symptoms, they alone cannot be the only treatment option. Best results are observed when these tips and tricks are used concurrently with hyposensitization therapy.
Before considering allergy management, proper allergy diagnosis is essential as many conditions, for example: infections or thyroid issues, can mimic symptoms of an allergy. Upon ruling out other issues, care should be taken to remove as many offending allergens from the patient’s environment as possible.
Allergy Management Tips
The most effective ways to maintain an allergy-free household include: bathing patients with hypoallergenic shampoos, regular and thorough cleaning of the house and furniture, changing air filters monthly, and maintaining the patient on a well-balanced diet. Executing these tasks on a regular basis will help keep the patient’s allergy symptoms at bay, however, these tasks alone will not resolve all allergy symptoms.
In a study to understand the mechanism of Atopic Dermatitis, a dog exhibiting clinical signs of AD showed significant improvement when moved to a pollen-free environment. However, when the dog was reintroduced to pollens in its home environment, the symptoms returned. The veterinarian treated the dog with hyposensitization therapy and the dog’s symptoms cleared up (Marsella, et al., 2012).
Similar to many environmental allergies, flea allergy dermatitis can be exacerbated by seasonal changes. Allergies resulting from flea bites are very common in warmer climates with lower elevations (Hensel et al., 2015). To effectively manage the symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis, evaluate whether the patient has developed a bacterial infection from the flea bite. If they have an infection, it will need to be eradicated with antibiotics before the allergy symptoms can be tackled. There are many prescription and over-the-counter topical treatments that can eliminate fleas, however, to achieve optimal results, keep the patient’s environment clean and ensure the patient’s bedding is washed and vacuumed regularly.
In addition to hyposensitization therapy, there are a variety of ways to safely reduce your patient’s allergy symptoms. Foremost on the list is a proper allergy diagnosis. Many conditions present themselves similarly to allergies and, without proper treatment, will just prolong the suffering of your patient, regardless of any additional precautions. Once you are certain your patient is suffering from allergies; the combination of hyposensitization therapy, along with dietary modifications and removal of the allergens from their environment, will help eliminate your patient’s allergy symptoms, resulting in a more comfortable and happy pet!
Marsella, R., Sousa, C. A., Gonzales, A. J., & Fadok, V. A. (2012). Current understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of canine atopic dermatitis. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 241(2), 194-207.
Hensel P, Santoro D, Favrot C, Hill P and C Griffin (2015). “Canine atopic dermatitis: detailed guidelines for diagnosis and allergen identification.”. BMV Vet Res 11: 196-208