Dog Allergy Drug: Diagnosis, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Wyndly Care Team
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What is the best medicine for dog allergies?

The best medicine for dog allergies varies per individual, but antihistamines like Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin are commonly used. Steroid nasal sprays or eye drops can also help. For severe allergies, allergen immunotherapy, such as allergy shots or tablets, may be recommended by doctors.

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What Causes Dog Allergy?

Dog allergies are primarily caused by proteins present in a dog's skin cells, saliva, and urine. It's not the dog's fur itself but these proteins that trigger allergic reactions. Exposure to these allergen proteins can lead to sensitization and subsequent allergic reactions.

Allergens and Sensitization Patterns

When a person with a predisposition to allergies comes into contact with dog allergens, their immune system may react by producing antibodies. These antibodies bind to the allergens, causing the release of histamines and other chemicals that lead to allergic symptoms. It's important to note that both short-haired and long-haired dogs can produce these allergens. Even so-called 'hypoallergenic dogs' can produce allergens, although some breeds may produce fewer allergens than others.

Risk Factors and Complications

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing a dog allergy. These include having a family history of allergies, being exposed to secondhand smoke during infancy, and having other allergies or asthma. Complications of dog allergies can include chronic inflammation of the sinuses or lungs and an increased risk of developing asthma, particularly in children. In severe cases, dog allergies can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Therefore, it is crucial to manage your symptoms and find the right treatment for your dog allergy.

What Symptoms Indicate a Dog Allergy?

Dog allergy symptoms typically appear within minutes to hours after exposure to a dog and can range from mild to severe. Understanding these symptoms is key to managing your condition and seeking appropriate treatment.

Common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery, or red eyes. Some people may experience a skin reaction where they have touched a dog, resulting in red, itchy skin or raised, red patches (hives). More severe reactions can include difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing, which should be addressed immediately by a healthcare professional.

For those with asthma, exposure to dogs can trigger an asthma attack. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

It's important to note that symptoms can vary widely from person to person and even from one encounter to another. You may not experience the same symptoms every time you are exposed to a dog. For a comprehensive understanding of your symptoms, it might be useful to take a dog allergy quiz or consult with a healthcare provider. Also, keep in mind that going for immunotherapy can provide long-term allergy relief.

How Do You Diagnose a Dog Allergy?

A dog allergy is typically diagnosed by an allergist who will conduct a detailed history and perform allergy testing. The testing can either be a skin prick test or a specific IgE blood test. Both tests identify whether a person has specific antibodies that react to dog allergens.

Clinical Utility of CRD

Component Resolved Diagnosis (CRD) is a newer method of testing that identifies specific allergen proteins that a person is allergic to. It provides a more detailed picture of a person's allergy profile and can help guide treatment options. For example, some people are only allergic to certain dog breeds, and CRD can help identify which breeds to avoid.

Pet Allergen Components as Markers of Increased Disease Risk and Disease Severity

The presence of specific allergen components in a person's blood can indicate an increased risk of severe reactions to dogs. For instance, if a person has high levels of Can f 1, a major dog allergen, they may have more severe symptoms when exposed to dogs. Therefore, knowing your specific allergen component profile can help manage your dog allergy more effectively. For an in-depth understanding of your symptoms, consider taking a dog allergy quiz. Ultimately, the most effective way to confirm a dog allergy is to consult with an allergist who can provide a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.

What Are the Treatment Options for Dog Allergy?

When it comes to treating a dog allergy, there are several options available. These include medication to alleviate symptoms, lifestyle changes to minimize contact with dog allergens, and immunotherapy to reduce sensitivity to dog allergens.

Apoquel 3.6 mg, 5.4 mg, and 16 mg

Apoquel is a prescription medication for dogs that can help control itching and inflammation associated with dog allergies. It comes in three strengths: 3.6 mg, 5.4 mg, and 16 mg. Your vet will decide the correct dosage based on your dog’s weight and the severity of their symptoms.

Atopica 50 mg for Dogs

Atopica is another prescription medication that can help manage dog allergies. It’s particularly effective in controlling atopic dermatitis, a common skin condition in dogs with allergies. Atopica comes in the form of a 50 mg capsule to be given orally.

Hydroxyzine HCl (Generic) 25 mg

Hydroxyzine HCl is a generic antihistamine that can help relieve allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and runny nose. It’s typically prescribed for short-term use to manage acute allergy symptoms.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that aims to desensitize your immune system to dog allergens. This is done by placing a small amount of allergen under the tongue on a regular basis, which helps your immune system to gradually tolerate the allergen. Over time, this can lead to fewer allergy symptoms and less need for medication. Sublingual immunotherapy is a promising approach for people who want a more permanent solution to their dog allergy.

When Should You Consult a Doctor for Dog Allergy?

If you're experiencing persistent or severe symptoms associated with dog allergies, it's time to consult a doctor. Early diagnosis and management can prevent the progression of the allergy and improve your quality of life.

If over-the-counter (OTC) medications aren't controlling your symptoms or if you're experiencing side effects from these medications, you should consult a doctor. They can prescribe stronger medications or recommend other treatment options.

Experiencing repeated severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis to dog allergens warrants immediate medical attention. If you're unsure whether you have a dog allergy, take this dog allergy assessment to help you decide if you need to see a doctor.

Lastly, if you have a dog and are considering getting rid of it because of your allergy, consult a doctor first. You may not need to part with your pet. Immunotherapy may be a viable treatment option to help you live comfortably with your pet.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Benadryl and Apoquel the same thing?

No, Benadryl and Apoquel are not the same thing. Benadryl is an antihistamine used to relieve allergy symptoms in humans, while Apoquel is a prescription medication designed specifically for dogs to treat itching and inflammation caused by various skin conditions, including allergies.

Is Benadryl or Zyrtec better for dogs?

Both Benadryl and Zyrtec are safe for dogs, but they are used for different reasons. Benadryl is typically used for acute symptoms like hives or an allergic reaction, while Zyrtec is better for chronic allergies. Always consult with a vet before giving your dog any medication.

What is the best allergy medicine if you are allergic to dogs?

The best allergy medicine for dog allergies varies depending on the individual's symptoms. Antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin) can alleviate itching, sneezing, and runny nose, while nasal steroids like fluticasone (Flonase) can help with nasal congestion. Always consult with a healthcare provider first.

Why is Apoquel bad for my dog?

Apoquel, while effective for treating allergies in dogs, can potentially have side effects. These include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. In rare cases, it may increase susceptibility to infections and development of serious conditions like pneumonia, skin tumors, or liver disease. Always consult your vet before use.

Is there an alternative to Apoquel for dogs?

Yes, there are alternatives to Apoquel for dogs. These include antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec, steroids such as prednisone, and natural supplements like omega-3 fatty acids. Another option is Cytopoint, a newer injectable medication that helps control itching and inflammation.

Does dog allergy medicine have side effects?

Yes, dog allergy medicine can have side effects. Common ones include drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and upset stomach. In rare cases, it may cause rapid heart rate, confusion, or blurred vision. Always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding potential side effects.

What symptoms do dog allergies cause?

Dog allergies can manifest in symptoms like sneezing, runny nose or nasal congestion, coughing, itchy, red or watering eyes, and postnasal drip. Some might experience skin reactions like an itchy rash or hives. Severe cases could lead to difficulty in breathing or asthma attacks.

How quickly do dog allergy symptoms appear?

Dog allergy symptoms can appear very quickly after exposure, often within 15 to 30 minutes. However, in some cases, symptoms may not become evident until several hours later. These symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes, among others.

What pills can I take for being allergic to dogs?

Over-the-counter antihistamines like Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Fexofenadine (Allegra), and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can mitigate dog allergy symptoms. Prescription medication such as steroid nasal sprays or allergy shots may also be recommended by a healthcare provider depending on the severity of your allergy. Always consult a doctor before use.

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