Q. I have a 6 year Chocolate lab with skin allergies. I have to take him monthly to the vet for a steroid shot.Its very expensive. Any home remedies ?

A. The gold standard treatment for allergies is to prevent any access to the offending substances which cause them! Unfortunately in dogs it is not always easy to diagnose the causative substances or if it is then to avoid them. Common culprits such as pollen and dust mites can be hard to avoid completely but recommendations as per asthmatic children with regards to bedding etc can help significantly. Adverse reactions to food are relatively common in labradors and a hydrolyzed diet can eliminate scratching related to food ingredients and proteins; an 8 week trial on a hydrolyzed diet will investigate how much of an impact food has on her condition. Supplements to improve her natural skin barrier against allergic sensitivities can help and are included in some skin support diets if the hydrolyzed food does not help after 8 weeks. Medicated and or oatmeal shampoo can help in some patients also

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