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Products and Services

    Allergy diagnostics/treatment

    Canine allergies:

    Skin allergies can be due to ectoparasites (such as fleas), yeast, food allergies or environmental allergies. Sometimes they can be due to a combination of food and environmental allergies. Often we will see secondary bacterial infections on the skin or ear infections which need to be addressed. It is important to rule out other diseases which can also cause hair loss or itchy skin such as low thyroid hormone or fungal diseases such as Ring Worm.

    A food trial with a prescription hypoallergenic diet is recommended for at least 8-12 weeks to rule out food allergies. During this period they cannot eat any other dog treats or human food. If it is necessary to give pills in food, marshmallows are recommended.

    Environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, human dander, etc…can be a cause of your dog’s allergies as well, and sometimes there are multiple allergens. At Meridian Veterinary Hospital we can perform a specific blood test to help with the diagnosis of environmental allergens. “Allergy shots” can then be specially formulated at a lab and given as directed by one of our veterinarians.

    Medical management is also an option for reducing clinical signs associated with allergies. Prednisone is given in the short term since it is a fast acting drug. We do not recommend long term use of prednisone, or steroids in general, due to the side effects. Cyclosporine (brand name Atopica) acts in the same manner as prednisone to reduce the signs of allergies. Atopica is a safe drug to use long term without the side effects of steroids. Medication often needs to be given lifelong. Antihistamines such as Benadryl, may also work to help control allergies in small percentages of dogs. Often the medical management of allergies requires a combination of therapies.

    Feline allergies:

    Feline allergies are similar in diagnostics and treatment to canine allergies.