Treatment for itching
With extreme itching, it is often necessary to alleviate a dog's suffering with medication before or during diagnosis. This is possible with rapidly effective medication like glucocorticoids or oclacitinib as well as local treatment, e.g. with shampoos. Nevertheless, it is absolutely necessary to identify the cause of the itching so that the dog can be helped in the long term.
Since ectoparasites are often the cause of itching, the administration of a suitable anti-parasite treatment by the vet is necessary. This treatment takes place after detection of the respective parasites or in cases of very strong suspicion where appropriate. Treating a flea saliva allergy also takes places by regularly administering a compound to combat fleas as well medically reducing itching.
Depending on the severity of a fungal disease, local treatment with ointments or tinctures or systemic treatment with antimycotics may be necessary. However, it should always be taken into account that dermatophytosis is zoonotic and that humans too can be infected. Hence, an environmental treatment may also be necessary in cases of severe dermatophytosis. If itching is severe, it should not be treated with glucocorticoids because they intensify the fungal infection.
Contact allergies are treated by attending to itching and avoiding the allergen. In addition, shampooing with special compounds can weaken allergens on the affected contact points.
If a food allergy is present, it is also recommended to avoid the allergen, i.e. giving food components that the dog tolerates well and doesn't react to.
The only causal treatment for atopy is hyposensitisation, an allergen-specific immune treatment in which the allergens to which the dog reacts are administered in increasing concentrations in a targeted manner. The objective is to stimulate the dog's immune system and achieve tolerance towards the allergens that trigger itching. However, not all dogs respond satisfactorily to this treatment. Additional treatment with medication to alleviate itching like cortisone, antihistamines, cyclosporin or oclacitinib is often necessary. Essential fatty acids can also contribute to reducing itching. Another treatment for itching with atopy has also recently become possible: biological treatment with monoclonal antibodies. So far, this type of treatment appears extremely promising and is also very well tolerated.
Secondary infections with bacteria or yeast fungi can be treated with antibacterial or antimycotical local therapeutic agents (shampoos, ointments, sprays etc) or antibiotics and antimycotics depending on the severity. In addition, the causal disease should always be investigated and treated.