Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs


Dogs and Allergies

Yes, dogs can get allergies similar to people do. Dog allergies are frequently triggered by the allergens discovered in pollen, animal dander, plants, and bugs, but dogs can also be allergic to food and medication too. These allergies can cause symptoms such as extreme itching, scratching, and grooming; rashes; sneezing; watery eyes; paw chewing; and skin inflammation. In many cases, dogs have conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, that is related to and may be caused by allergies.

What Is an Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs?

Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory, chronic skin disease related to allergies. In reality, this is the 2nd most common allergic skin disease in dogs. These allergic reactions can be brought on by generally harmless compounds like turf, mold spores, house allergen, and other environmental irritants.

Dogs typically reveal signs of the disease between 3 months and 6 years of age, though atopic dermatitis can be so moderate the first year that it does not become medically evident prior to the 3rd year.

Regardless of the fact dogs are more vulnerable to atopic dermatitis than felines, it does occur in felines.

Symptoms and Signs of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Frequently symptoms connected with atopic dermatitis progressively aggravate with time, though they become more obvious during specific seasons. The most typically affected areas in dogs consist of the:

  • Ears
  • Wrists
  • Ankles
  • Muzzle
  • Underarms
  • Groin
  • Around the eyes
  • In between the toes

The signs connected with atopic dermatitis, meanwhile, include itching, scratching, rubbing, and licking, especially around the face, paws, and underarms.

Causes of Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

Early beginning is often connected with a family history of skin allergies. This may lead the dog to end up being more susceptible to allergens such as:

  • Animal danders
  • Airborne pollens (lawns, weeds, trees, and so on).
  • Mold spores (indoor and outside).
  • House dust mite.


Your vet will want a complete case history to determine the underlying reason for the skin allergies, including a physical exam of the dog.

Serologic allergy screening may be carried out, but it does not always have reputable results. The quality of this sort of screening typically depends on the laboratory which analyzes the outcomes. Intradermal testing, where percentages of test allergens are injected in the skin and wheal (a red bump) action is determined, may likewise used to recognize the cause of your pet’s allergic reaction.

Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

The treatment will depend on what is triggering your family pet’s allergic reaction. If the reaction is due to atopy, for example, hyposensitization therapy can be carried out. Your vet will provide your animal injections of the irritants to which it is delicate. This decreases irritation in 60 to 80 percent of dogs, however might approximately take 6 months to a year to see an enhancement.

Medicines such as corticosteroids and antihistamines can also be offered to control or lower itching. Cyclosporine is effective in controlling itching related to long-term skin allergies, while sprays can be used over big body surface areas to manage itching with minimal side effects.

Immunotherapy (Hyposensitization)
A series of injections made from irritants that your animal is delicate to can be offered to induce “tolerance” to these substances. When these substances are then come across in the environment, your animal should be much less sensitive to them. Owners usually provide these injections at home. Additionally, Immunotherapy may be administered by mouth.

Living and Management

Sadly, atopic dermatitis just rarely enters into remission or spontaneously resolves. However, bathing your dog in cool water with anti-itch hair shampoos might help your alleviate its symptoms.

When treatment has actually started, your vet should see the dog every 2 to 8 weeks to ascertain the efficiency of the treatment and to check for drug interactions. Then, as your pet’s itching ends up being well managed, it will need to be brought into the vet’s office every 3 to 12 months for examinations.

If your veterinarian ought to find the trigger for your pet’s allergies, he or she will advise you regarding how to best prevent those type of allergens.


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