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Posted on 06-01-2014

Portland is a beautiful city, unfortunately we must suffer from the results of that green and flowering beauty with the resulting allergens.  The Willamette valley is basically a bowl of pollens and grasses.  Many people and pets that live in this beautiful green valley suffer from allergies.  A pet dog or cat may be 1 year or 12 years of age before it suffers from allergies. The immune system doesn’t seem to care what age the body is when it starts to react with a release of histamine, making the pet sneeze, itch, chew, have smelly ears or runny eyes.  The pets that I see are a hot, red, swollen mess.  During the initial appointment I am usually trying to diagnose what is going on with the skin, ears, ears, or paws and if necessary I perform a series of tests to find out if there is excess yeast, mites, or bacteria. Then I send home antibiotics, shampoos, sprays, antihistamines and in some cases steroids to reduce itch and inflammation. If that recheck appointment 3 weeks later is missed then the owners will notice that within days of finishing the medication or therapy the itching, scratching, and chewing start again. The next appointment is when I recheck the skin, eyes, ears, paws and see if the therapy was appropriate and then I discuss the maintenance therapy to prevent infections from occurring again. Some people expect a magic pill and they don’t want to have to come back in to control allergies.  I try my best to explain to them that I have only resolved the skin infection, now it is time to find out what is triggering the skin infection and allergies.  My goal is to devise a plan with the owner so they are equipped with the tools (shampoos, sprays, anti-itch tablets, hypoallergenic prescription food) to manage the allergies before they flare up.

If your pet develops allergies, expect to visit your veterinarian multiple times and to work with them through open communication and frequent recheck exams.  When the antibiotic, steroid, antihistamine, allergy spray, and/or shampoo needs a refill don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.  Just take a deep breath and let us help. When we recommend a recheck in 2-3 weeks please make the appointment, we aim to give you the tools to control or manage the allergies. Unfortunately we don’t yet have the power to eradicate the allergies, only manage them.  

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2604     (dog allergies)

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=2607     (cat allergies)

Dr. Alexandra 
Barbur Blvd Veterinary Hospital
10629 SW Barbur Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219

mclaughry@barburvet.com

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