Eliminate the cause rather than the symptom
Everyone living in Austin is familiar with inhaled allergies (atopy). The typical clinical signs in humans are congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat, cough, and even more generalized sickness. As most Austinites are aware, with proper treatment these signs lessen or even cease altogether.
Just like their human guardians, most dogs and cats living in Austin also suffer from inhaled allergies. Does your dog lick its paws, rub its face and ears, perform the “wiggle-worm” on the floor, get ear infections, itch, bite, self-mutilate, develop hot spots and skin infections? Does your dog eat grass, vomit saliva with yellow bile, or get diarrhea when the weather changes? If these conditions sound familiar, your dog probably has allergies. Cat allergies are usually more subtle: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, coughing up hairballs, excessive grooming, pulling out hair, or just feeling “under the weather.”
You can spend your pet’s lifetime cleaning/flushing ears, giving medicated baths, feeding special gastrointestinal foods, applying topical medications, and giving oral antibiotics. But as you are already well aware, the results of these treatments are short-term, expensive, labor intensive, and not very effective. Why treat the symptoms when you can manage the cause and bring your pet an extended amount of relief.
Dog and cat allergies can usually be effectively treated with fatty acids, anti-histamines, and diet. In more extreme cases, hypoallergenic injections and corticosteroids can provide satisfactory results.