What flare factors cause my allergic patients to itch?

By Dr. Ashley Bourgeois, KeraVet Bio Advisor

So, what are the four common flare factors in dogs?

Secondary infection. You know I love to #cytologyeverything. It is so important to identify secondary pyoderma and yeast dermatitis. Infections can cause pruritus separate from allergic itch. Practice performing cytology frequency so you can feel more confident collecting and evaluating samples.

Lack of ectoparasite control. Just because flea prevention was purchased a month ago, doesn’t mean it was given. Make sure to ask the owner if all pets in the household are up to date with prevention. Life happens and a simple mistake like forgetting flea prevention can be an easy fix.

Food allergic pet getting exposed to abnormal food. Maybe the client didn’t realize giving the pills in a hot dog was an issue. Maybe the dog went into work with the owner and stole a sandwich (I have had this happen!). Maybe a neighbor was feeding the pet over the fence in the backyard (this has happened to me too!). If we know part of the itch is related to food allergy, make sure to see if there is a possibility of an exposure.

Seasonal flares. Unfortunately, seasons change and allergies flare. Even well-managed allergic pets can have a flare in a tough time of year. If we can get through that flare (whether addressing infection, increasing topical therapy, temporarily adjusting the antipruritic, etc.), the anchor allergy treatment may still be a great option.

This article was originally posted on September 16, 2021 to the The Derm Vet.

Learn more about KeraVet Bio Advisor, Dr. Ashley Bourgeois, DVM, Dip ACVD, Veterinary Dermatologist, Speaker, and Media Personality by visiting her on LinkedIn.