A Great Way to Stop Your Dog from Scratching!

I talked, last year, about a great way to stop your dog from scratching (sorry, no good for cats). We had started using a new injectable drug which showed great promise for allergic dogs. Well, the good news is that, after a year of using these injections, we’re having fantastic results!

Given this is such a common problem amongst our canine friends, I thought it would make sense to reprint the article. If you’re one of those owners who struggles, each Spring, with itchy-scratchy dogs, you should read on!

Itchy dogs (and, to a lesser extent, cats) are a real problem for our clients at this time of year. It happens every Spring and keeps us busy providing treatment and advice. For pet owners, treating allergies can be a big challenge and, potentially, a major source of frustration. Many of these itchy pets have what we refer to as Atopic Dermatitis and this is the most common cause of skin disease we see in dogs.

Cytopoint’ is an injectable drug that we’ve used, with great success, over the last 12 months to treat atopic dogs.  The feedback from clients has been brilliant and we’re really happy with the responses we’re seeing. For the clients (and probably the dogs), they’ve found the treatment to be really easy – no battling to get tablets into a somewhat (or very) reluctant patient on a daily basis!! They seem very happy to pay a little more if it means the treatment is simple and trouble-free.

So, how does it work? I’ve noted a few of the most important details of this treatment below:

Cytopoint is given by injection

  • This is a simple, subcutaneous (under the skin) injection
  • It’s a tiny needle and doesn’t hurt your dog at all

The drug lasts from 4 to 6 weeks in the system

  • Duration of effect depends on severity of the allergy condition
  • In some cases, we may even be able to stretch this out to 8 weeks before giving a repeat injection

The injection targets nerve endings and, so far, we haven’t seen any side-effects at all

  • Unlike drugs such as prednisolone, Cytopoint does not cause systemic changes
  • Because the drug is acting at skin level only, it is very safe
  • There is no excessive appetite or drinking/urination and no damage to kidneys or liver.
  • Cytopoint is safe to give when other disease processes or treatments are present.

Prevention of skin disease is better than cure and Ctyopoint should help greatly with this

  • Scratching, caused by itchiness, damages the surface of the skin. This, in turn, leaves the skin open to infection with both yeast and bacteria.
  • We spend a lot of time treating these secondary infections, just as much as the primary allergic condition
  • By preventing the scratching, we reduce the amount of secondary infection and improve skin control significantly as a result

Clients are telling us that the costs are quite reasonable

  • Although not the cheapest drug on the market, Cytopoint compares favourably with other tablets such as Apoquel and Atopica
  • Many clients find that this form of treatment is not only quite affordable, but great value given the ease of use.

Unfortunately, the drug is not appropriate for cats and so can’t be used on your itchy feline friends.

  • There are still plenty of other options in treating itchy cats – I’ll talk about this in an upcoming blog describing some of the other factors in controlling skin disease generally including non-atopic dermatitis.

Although it’s only one tool in the box, Cytopoint is already making a big difference to the way we treat atopic dermatitis. Many owners are telling us that their dogs have an improved quality of life, and that treatment is much easier for them.

If you think your dog is showing early signs of itching, rubbing and scratching, it would be a great idea to come in for a checkup. We’ll go out of our way to look after you so, don’t delay, give us a call and ask our fantastic receptionists to make a booking on 8522 3500. Even better, go online to book an appointment directly.

Dr Dave MacPhail

Dr Dave MacPhail

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Gawler Animal Hospital

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