“My pet is driving me nuts, he is scratching all day long and at night I cannot sleep with the slurp slurp sound of his constant licking!” 

Helderberg is known as the allergy capital of the country. Because of all our olive orchards and vineyards combined with the bowl-like topography that the mountains around us create, our pollen count is off the charts.

At least one pet in every household may struggle. Allergies in pets may present as either skin irritations which are the most common or they may cause breathing problems such as wheezing or sneezing, and watery eyes. Skin irritations will usually result in redness of the skin, hair loss, licking of affected areas, and sometimes oozing or scaling.

Most annoyingly, there is no cure for allergies. Our goal must be, however, to manage the condition and alleviate the pets discomfort to a large degree. There is no one miracle cure and a mutli-modal approach is often necessary.

We focus our efforts on supporting the body to better cope with allergies.

This includes good nutrition. Sometimes a specific or prescription hypoallergenic diet is required, and essential fatty acids (the good fats) are incredibly helpful to promote healthy skin. It is also of vital importance to keep up to date with tick and flea control, as many dogs are allergic to fleas and can have horrible skin reactions to just a single flea bite. Hypoallergenic or special shampoos, special skin support spot-ons or drops are helpful and then lastly, we reach for certain medications.

We try to keep these medications as a last resort but a lot of the time it is necessary to get our pets comfortable. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to medication and it is important to find a treatment regime that is best suited to your pet’s individual needs.

Cortisone is a very good drug with a fast response however it is wrought with many unwanted side effects. We therefore limit its use where possible.

Newer, safer drugs on the market include Apoquel, Atopica and our newest addition with fantastic results, Cytopoint.

If your fur child has a case of itchy scratchies, please make an appointment to come in for a skin allergy consultation so that we can provide you and your pet with the  best possible treatment plan.