Allergy problems are never easy, and in most cases they are there for the long term. Establishing a safe, long-term method
of treating these atopic patients is essential in order to provide them with a good quality of life. As mentioned above, topicals
such as shampoos and ceramide replacers, diet changes and good communication are small ways of enhancing a pet's response
to a long-term therapy.
Minimizing corticosteroid use is important, but when a flare-up occurs, corticosteroids are needed for the short term to get
the pet back on track. But be "steroid-stingy"; once you dispense corticosteroids, instruct the owner on the short length
of time they are to be used and dispense only small amounts. Many clients see the patient doing well on corticosteroids and
continue to use the medication long term, which brings about other problems that didn't exist in the first place.
There is no one magic potion for allergy but instead a combination of medications that is unique for each patient. It's just
achieving that right combination that's the trick!
Dr. Alice Jeromin is a pharmacist and veterinary dermatologist in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a graduate of
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
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