Allergy Treatment



Allergies are caused by the body’s own immune system reacting against an allergen. Pets can be allergic to their food, fleas, inhaled environmental allergens, contact allergens, and/or the combinations of all of these.


Scratching, face rubbing, ear infections, skin infections, chewing feet, vomiting, and rashes are all signs of allergies. If left untreated these will progress to hair loss, skin yeast infections, and permanent ear damage. Without finding the source of the allergy and removing it, the skin condition with continue to re-occur.

*Before Allergy treatment is started, all secondary yeast and bacterial infections must be addressed with antibiotics, antifungals, and shampoos. *

  1. Attempt to find the source of the allergen (flea, environment, food) and eliminate it or hyposensitize the patient to it. The search often is frustrating and will take time.
    1. Step 1- Oral flea control such as Bravecto and Simparica to rule out flea allergies is the first step, we recommend both Bravecto and Simparica for allergy pets. These are the most effective flea control for allergy patients as fleas are less resistant to these newer products.
    2. Step 2- Apoquel trial. Apoquel is a medication that is 95% affective against environmental allergies with minimal side effects. If your dog’s itch improves with Apoquel then they have an environmental component to their allergy.
    3. Step 3- Food trial. This is performed with either a novel protein and carbohydrate source such as Royal Canin Rabbit and Potato formula, a food engineered with proteins and carbohydrates too small for the immune system to recognize such as Ultamino, or a homemade novel protein diet through The food trial must be maintained for at least 8 weeks. It takes that long for the original allergen to leave the body. During that food trial, there are to be NO TREATS! These include rawhides, bones, pig ears, etc. If these are given to the animal, the food trail will be jeopardized. There is not an accurate blood, saliva, or skin test to detect food allergies. Marshmallows are hypoallergenic and can be used to help medicate your pet.


If 90+% improvement is accomplished, then the environment is the cause. It usually is multiple allergens and seldom can they be completely eliminated. Staying on Apoquel will help to keep the allergy under control. Some dogs will need it year-round while others may have a more seasonal allergy requiring Apoquel only in the spring or fall. Thankfully Apoquel has few side effects and is relatively safe for long-term usage.

Cytopoint is an alternative option. Cytopoint works the same as Apoquel, it is an antibody injection that is given every 4 to 8 weeks. The antibody blocks interleukin 31, which is the cell that causes itch and inflammation in dogs with environmental allergies. Cytopoint is given every 4 weeks for the first 3 injections and then every 4-8 weeks to maintain control of the itch response. 5% of dogs will not respond to Apoquel/Cytopoint. In these cases, cyclosporine and prednisone can be sued to control the allergy. Unfortunately, they both have significant side effects. Antihistamines are only 10-15% effective. Allergy testing with immunotherapy can be performed on blood and skin, however, it is only 65% effective.

If some improvement is notes, but not 100%, then your pet likely has inhalant and food allergies, or the secondary infection is not completely gone. Staying on Apoquel and starting a food trial is the next step.

If no improvement is found then we have ruled out fleas and the environment as the allergen source. This is rase as only 10-20% of dogs have a pure food allergy. Starting a food trial is the next step.


  1. Quality flea controls
  2. Shampooing weekly with a medicated shampoo to help control secondary infection. (Remember Apoquel, flea control, and special foods will not work if there is a secondary bacterial and or yeast infection).
  3. Omega 3 fatty acids that are bioavailable. (Free Form Omega 3’s)
  4. Apoquel/Cytopoint and/or special diets.


Allergies are a frustrating, expensive, and a long-term problem. Please do not because discouraged if immediate results are not obtained. Often times it takes several months to achieve satisfactory results. Our goal is to make your pet as comfortable as possible.