Sounds like someone has allergies. Typically, allergies are of three types – food, fleas and hay fever. If we prevent fleas, take care of the food allergies, then the hay fever allergies can be lessened. The most common food things that dogs are allergic to are the things they eat most commonly: chicken, beef, lamb, eggs, wheat, corn, soy. These are the things that are in all of their foods. Sometimes its as easy as go to a grain-free food. Sometimes, you have to do an elimination diet and feed something your dog has never eaten, like kangaroo!

If you’ve eliminated fleas with a good quality product, the next thing to do is get you and your dog some relief. The most typical treatment is steroids – they suppress the immune system, thus calming the itch, for a period of time. The long-acting steroid shot can really help with diagnosis of the cause of the allergies. Doesn’t work – still have fleas; works 3-4 weeks – probably a food allergy; works 6-8 weeks – probably hay fever.

Of course, anyone can have a reaction to anything – I’ve seen dogs allergic to the flea meds, to the steroid shot, to vaccines, to apple cider vinegar – if it exists, an allergy can occur. The thing to remember is: constant exposure to the same thing creates allergies, not one time exposure. So, if your dog is itching so badly no one can sleep, get some relief with your veterinarian’s help, but get to the bottomline quickly. Constant use (overuse) of steroids can be bad for the health.

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