Your dog can suffer from allergies just as we do. They may be seasonal, environmental, or both. Just as we treat our allergies with medications, you can treat your dog’s allergies as well, and the best medication for the job is Allegra.
What is Allegra?
Allegra is an antihistamine medication made up of the active ingredient fexofenadine. Antihistamine is used in allergy medication because it helps treat the symptoms that are caused by the presence of histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical response that occurs when the body comes in contact with an allergen.
The body uses histamine to fight the allergen that has caused the allergic reaction. While the body’s response is natural, the effects of histamine can be debilitating. Histamine causes inflammation, muscle contractions, and itching. Having an antihistamine ingredient in allergy medication reduces these symptoms to a manageable level.
When you think of antihistamine, you may think of drowsiness and sleepiness that comes soon after taking the medication. Allegra is different in that it is a second-generation antihistamine. This means that it passes through the body differently than first-generation antihistamines, such as Benadryl, and does not cause drowsiness that first-generation antihistamines cause.
Recognizing Allergies in Your Dog
Several signs and symptoms manifest allergies in humans, but your dog will exhibit these symptoms differently. Humans show allergies through sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. This is because most of the histamine cells are located in our respiratory system. Therefore, when histamine is produced to fight off the allergen, it appears in the respiratory system as sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose.
The histamine cells in dogs are located in the skin. This means that a dog with allergies is most likely to exhibit a reaction through scratching, licking, and biting any surface of the skin. The area of the skin that the dog focuses on scratching, licking, or biting the most depends on where the histamine cells are manifesting on your dog.
If you notice that your dog has begun excessively licking, scratching, or biting areas of his or her body, then your dog is likely suffering from allergies.
Treating Your Dog’s Allergies with Allegra
Allegra is considered a safe drug for dogs in its basic simple form with fexofenadine as the active ingredient. A dog’s body is equipped to handle the slow-releasing fexofenadine over 24 hours.
You should not give your dog any dose of Allegra-D for any reason. Allegra-D contains a decongestant ingredient called pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is harmful to dogs, and it should not be given to them to treat allergies, as the decongestant acts as a stimulant to your dog. The safest form of Allegra for your dog is the 24-hour Allegra for allergies.
Only give your dog Allegra in the form of a 60-milligram tablet. Not only is the milligram amount safe, but there are no additional ingredients in the tablet as there are in the liquid form. The liquid form of Allegra contains xylitol, a sweetener used in oral liquid medications. Xylitol is dangerous for dogs and should not be given to them for any reason.
Dosage and Administration
Veterinarians use the rule of giving a dog 2 milligrams of Allegra for every kilogram (approximately 2.2 pounds) the dog weighs.
Using a 60-milligram tablet, veterinarians recommend the following doses based on weight:
You can give your dog their recommended dosage of Allegra once or twice a day. It simply depends on your dog, how well your dog takes medicine, and how severe the symptoms are each day. You can cut the dosage in half and give one half in the morning and the other half at night, or you can give the full dosage one time per day.
Side Effects of Allegra for Dogs
After giving your dog a dose of Allegra, you should monitor their condition to make sure that they do not have an adverse reaction to the medication.
Some common side effects include:
While these side effects are not life-threatening, you should notify your vet immediately if your dog has begun to experience these side effects after taking Allegra.
What is Causing the Allergy/Allergies?
The best way to treat your dog’s allergies is to eliminate the allergen, if at all possible. Some allergens are impossible to avoid, such as pollen or another pet’s shedding. For this reason, you may have to treat the symptoms as they occur each year seasonally by using allergy medication like Allegra.
If there is a food allergen causing your dog to itch, scratch, bite, and lick, then you should try to change your dog’s diet. Dogs often have an adverse reaction to grains, which are commonly the first ingredient found in many types of dog food. Switching your dog’s food to a blend where a protein is the first ingredient may help significantly reduce your dog’s allergies and provide him or her with much more comfort.
Other Treatments for Your Dog’s Allergies
In addition to Allegra, you should also frequently bathe your dog. Bathing your dog with a gentle shampoo will help alleviate the itching discomfort from the allergies.
If pollen and dander is the culprit of your dog’s allergies, then make sure you frequently wash your dog’s bedding to clean it of these allergens. Treating your dog with Allegra and bathing them will do no good if your dog is lying in an allergen-filled bed. Make sure you wash your dog’s bedding once a week to keep allergens at a minimum.