You notice your dog is constantly itching and scratching. You have tried the various flea and tick remedies available. Yet your best-friend still keeps scratching like there’s no tomorrow. Then you start noticing your four-legged buddy’s ears are showing signs of inflammation, and it is developing ear infections. You also notice your dog’s skin is damp, damaged, or reddened, due excessive scratching or chewing. If your dog is showing these symptoms, it might be suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.
What is Atopic Dermatitis? While somewhat alarming when you first notice it, Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most common causes of chronic itching in dogs. An allergic reaction to something in the environment is typically at the root of Atopic Dermatitis. It can start affecting dogs as young as one-year. Unfortunately, dogs do not overcome their allergies like humans usually do.
How does Atopic Dermatitis develop? Your dog’s genetic make-up and the environment may make it susceptible to this irritating skin condition. The allergens in the environment are usually not the cause. Rather, it could be your dog’s immune system is not responding the way it should when exposed to certain allergens.
What’s the best way to diagnose Atopic Dermatitis? Record your observations and take them to your dog’s veterinarian. The vet will want to do an examination to make sure your dog is not suffering from allergies caused by food or parasites.
Is there a way to treat Atopic Dermatitis? After conducting tests to see which allergens are bothering your dog, the veterinarian might recommend one or all of the following treatments:
- Immunotherapy – your vet may recommend administering a series of injections composed of the allergens that affect your dog. The goal here is to help your dog develop a tolerance to the allergy-causing substances. The injections may be administered by your vet or in some cases you can administer them at home. Some immunotherapy medications may be orally administered.
- Topical solutions – Using medicated shampoos and conditioners can help soothe your dog’s itching skin. Plus, frequent bathing combined with the use of medicated shampoos can help your dog lose the annoying allergens that are attaching to its coat and skin.
- Anti-inflammatory medications – To help reduce itching, your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as Apoquel, Atopica, Prednisone or other medications.
- Antibacterial and antifungal medications – Atopic dermatitis has a sneaky way of coming back. To help prevent the return of this skin condition, it is highly recommended that you use shampoos that contain Douxo Chlorhexidine PS. In addition, giving your dog Ketoconazole or Fluconazole tablets or Convenia injections can help ward off Atopic Dermatitis allergens.
To sum it up, Atopic Dermatitis is a skin condition caused by allergens in the environment and your dog’s genetic inability to fight them off. Only a veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose your dog for Atopic Dermatitis. While Atopic Dermatitis has a tendency to re-occur, it can be treated with immunotherapy, topical solutions, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial medications.
Have something to add? Please use the comments section.