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Information for You and Your Pets

Studious dog

There are many sources of pet information on the Internet and it can be difficult to know which ones to trust. That's why our articles are written in-house by the same doctor you can talk to right here at Creekside Veterinary Clinic. Click below to choose an article about some of the common concerns you might experience with your pets.

Allergies Are No Fun for Pets Either

When spring is in the air, so is the pollen. Allergy season came early this year for pets and people alike. While some animals get runny, red eyes and increased post-nasal drip like people with hay fever, more animals manifest their allergies through their skin. The cat that licks her belly bald and has scabs on her back and neck usually has allergies. The dog that constantly licks his feet and legs, rubs his face, or has red itchy sores or bumps on his belly, armpits, or the base of the tail also likely has allergies. When your pet is showing any of these signs, this is the time to enlist the help of your veterinarian.

Dog laying in grass

Cats and dogs are generally allergic to three things: fleas, food and inhaled allergens such as molds and pollens. The timing of their allergies can help to determine what they are allergic to. Year round allergies are often related to food. Seasonal allergies can be related to pollens in the summer, mold in the winter and sometimes dust mites and other environmental allergens can cause year round itching. For flea allergic animals, fleas are a year round allergen in Oregon. BEWARE, you don’t have to see the fleas for them to cause allergies. Just as an animal or person allergic to bees doesn’t require 20 bee stings to react, the same is true for animals with flea allergies, one flea bite is enough to set them off. If your animal has been diagnosed with flea allergies, use year round flea protection to keep them healthy and comfortable!

Cat in grass with flowers

It’s important to seek veterinary care for animals with allergic disease. If you suspect a food allergy and change the animal’s food time and again, you can make it more difficult to find a hypoallergenic diet that will work for your pet in the future. Diet trials for allergies need to be done very carefully under the guidance of a veterinarian with a prescription hypoallergenic food. Unfortunately, foods available at pet stores that claim to be hypoallergenic may not be, and by exposing your pet to that fish, duck, etc. in a non-hypoallergenic diet, that food is no longer available to use later when you really need to find a hypoallergenic diet your animal will tolerate. Another reason to seek veterinary care for itchy animals is that allergies predispose animals to skin and ear infections with staphylococcal bacterial and yeast. Even if you address the allergies properly, if the infections aren’t under control, your animal’s itch may never go away.

Dog laying in grass with flowers

In addition to antibiotics and anti-yeast medications to treat infections secondary to allergies, veterinarians have other medications in their arsenal to combat allergies. Allergy testing and allergy serum injections can be used to desensitize animals to their specific allergens. Steroids such a prednisone can be employed short-term for seasonal allergies and immune modulating medications such as cyclosporine (Atopica®) can be used long-term for chronic, uncontrollable itching. Topical or oral month-long flea medications can be used every 3-4 weeks to prevent flea allergies. Comfortis® is a product available only through veterinarians and it is favored by many veterinary dermatologists as the most effective flea control available. Be aware that some topical flea medications available at grocery stores and pet stores are truly not as effective as those available through veterinarians. Contact your veterinarian to discuss which products have been working well in your area and to find out which ones they would recommend.

Allergies can sometimes be a frustrating and difficult problem to treat. It takes close communication with your veterinarian to sort out the potential causes for itching and to find the particular combination of treatments that will work for your pet. Your veterinarian can help you institute a comprehensive plan for infection control and for ways to treat and prevent the itch that will keep your pet healthier and happier (and you’ll get better sleep because your dog won’t keep waking you up at two in the morning licking or scratching themselves)!

Office Hours

Our regular office hours are:

8:00am-5:30pm Mon-Fri
8:00am-12:00pm Sat

Please call or text our office for an appointment.

(503) 390-5222

Visit Us

We are located in the McNary Estates Business Center, near the intersection of River Road and Wheatland Road. Turn at the big McNary sign.

113 McNary Estates Drive Suite B
Keizer, OR 97303