Antihistamines For Dogs

Antihistamine is one of the most common types of dog allergy medications. Choosing the right antihistamine for your pet can be quite difficult, as you never know what his reaction is going to be. Antihistamine can be effective for dog allergies just as it is for humans. For rapid relief of inflammation, nothing works better than the corticosteroid hormones such as hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and others.

Does your Dog have an Allergy?

Does your pet scratch until the skin is irritated? Does he sneeze a lot? If he does, then he might suffer from some type of allergy. Most dogs are allergic to pollen, mold spores, dust mites, flea saliva and certain foods. Symptoms of inhalant allergies include biting, scratching, constant licking and chewing at feet. Ear flaps may become hot. Allergies can affect all breeds of dogs at all ages, but they are more common in younger dogs.

About Dog Allergies

When the allergen is inhaled, your dog's immune system starts to produce a certain type of protein. This reaction triggers a release of histamine, causing inflammation of the skin in the allergic dog. Antihistamine works by blocking the histamine effects. This medication also has additional pharmacological effects. Some people use antihistamine as an anti-emetic medication to control vomiting, as a sedative or as an aid in treating carbamate poisoning.

How Antihistamines work in Dogs

Antihistamine works in the same way for both humans and pets. It reduces itchiness, treats canine atopy and prevents secondary allergic reactions. In general, most veterinarians recommend its use in combination with essential fatty acid supplements to increase the treatment effectiveness by up to 40%. About one-third of pet owners reports success with an antihistamine.

Antihistamine Side Effects in Dogs

When you choose an antihistamine for dogs, make sure you are aware of the side effects as well as the benefits of each type of antihistamine. For most dogs, sedation, diarrhea and lethargy are the only things to worry about. The sedative effects may diminish with time. A diet rich in fatty acids will help the antihistamine work better. Antihistamines are metabolized by the liver, so you should ask the veterinarian before using these medications in dogs with liver disease. If your pet suffers from urinary retention disorders or glaucoma, it is recommended that you do not give him an antihistamine.

Types of Antihistamines for Dogs

The most common antihistamines for dogs include Hydroxyzine, Benadryl (Diphenhydramine), Periactin, Tavist and Loratadine. These drugs work very well for humans, dogs and cats. Regardless of what antihistamine you choose, make sure the drug is taken in conjunction with a proper diet. If your dog is already taking other medications, he may react differently to an antihistamine. Therefore, it is advisable that you consult a veterinarian for advice about using antihistamine.

Each dog reacts to an antihistamine differently, which is why it is recommended to try at least three types of antihistamine to see which has the best results. Though an antihistamine may help your dog feel better and reduce itching, some pets can have a serious reaction. Be sure to consult a vet in order to make an informed decision.