Just Ask the Expert: How should I treat a dog that is allergic to only house dust mites?
Dr. Spiegel welcomes dermatology questions from veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
Sometimes I find that a dog with atopic dermatitis is allergic only to mite mix and house dust—granted, house dust is mainly mites. It causes problems for me in making up the vaccine. Too much allergen in the vaccine makes the dog itch after the injection, and too little does not work or does not last long enough. How do you handle dogs that are markedly allergic to these two allergens only or almost only?
If the problem is truly just house dust mites, I might discuss with the client other possible means of dealing with the problem. I usually recommend clients use an acaricide, such as Acarosan (Bissell), to clean up the environment and add house-dust-mite-impermeable bedding covers to the dog beds and even to their beds. I also often recommend that owners consider purchasing high-efficiency particulate air filters. And, depending on the individual case, I might even consider prescribing an alternative such as cyclosporine.
Ian Spiegel, VMD, MHS, DACVD