How to Choose Pets’ Allergy Treatments?
Ease the confusion of choosing the right treatment plan for pets when it comes to managing allergies.
According to a 2018 Healthy Paws Pet Insurance report of its most commonly reported pet illnesses and accidents, 22% of pet insurance claims are skin-related, 12% are ear infections, and 5% are allergy-related. In its 2018 State of Pet Health report, Banfield reported that over the past 10 years, its veterinarians had seen a 30.7% increase in environmental allergy cases in dogs and an 11.5% increase in cats.
“These issues are significant and the majority of these clinical symptoms are related to underlying allergic skin disease with environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis) being the most common cause,” said a Dechra Veterinary Products spokesperson.
The right choice
However, there are so many products available that it is easy for veterinarians to become confused over which product is best to help manage allergies, the Dechra spokesperson said. To help ease the confusion it is recommended that veterinarians:
- Have a basic understanding of the pathophysiology of allergic skin disease.
- Recognize that allergic patients have both allergy-induced itches and develop infections which causes itching as well. Both of these have to be managed.
- Learn how to perform cytology to aid in determining if there is infection present and what the causative organisms are in order to direct therapy at the correct cause of itching.
- Understand which ingredients manage which problems so that appropriate choices can be made that are most likely to allow for successful management.
- When in doubt regarding cytology findings or the best ingredients to choose, consult with an area veterinary dermatologist. Veterinary dermatologists can be found at acvd.org.
- Purchase veterinary specific products from reputable manufacturers who will work with the veterinarian and their staff by providing training on when to use which products for what issues. Along with training, reputable manufactures provide client brochures to help reinforce client compliance.
“It is always important for the veterinarian to explain what is in the product and how to accurately use it,” the Dechra spokesperson said. “This means having an understanding of the disease and the various factors that are associated with allergies in order to be able to counsel clients as to the best course of therapy.”
To aid in compliance, client brochures are available from reputable manufacturers to help reinforce the instructions provided by the veterinarian. It is also important for the veterinarian, technicians, and receptionists to repeat all instructions, demonstrate the application, and ensure the pet owner has no questions. “Detailed discharge instructions are an important way to emphasize these points,” the Dechra spokesperson said. “Additionally, a follow-up call several days after the appointment is recommended to ensure the pet owner still understands the instructions and is complying.”
Questions distributor reps can ask their customers
- “What types of skin cases are you seeing?”
- “What are the most common complaints that your clients are relating to their pet’s condition?”
- “What are the clients’ concerns about treating their pet’s allergies?”
- “What are the perceived barriers that clients have about treating their pet’s allergies?”
- “What can we, as reps, do to make it easier to assist you with managing your allergy patients?”
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