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Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

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What is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic Dermatitis, also known as Atopy, is a skin disease associated with allergies. It’s the dog equal to hay fever, caused by an allergic reactions that occurs by the following allergens:

  • Pollen, grasses, weeds, trees
  • Mould, dust, dust mites, grains
  • Chemicals, fertilizers, wool and feathers

These cause your dog to become itchy when they come into contact with something that overstimulates their immune system.

Symptoms may be mild, yet these irritations usually result in scratching and biting of the skin. Therefor this then leads to skin sores, infections, and an unhappy dog! But you can manage Atopy with medication and lifestyle changes. As this is a potential lifelong condition, repeat treatment is needed throughout the dog’s lifetime.

Affected Areas & Symptoms

The most commonly affected areas in dogs include the; ears, wrists, ankles, muzzle, underarms, groin, around the eyes and in between the toes, which can become worse over time.

Symptoms of Atopic dermatitis usually include:

  • Itching
  • Scratching
  • Rubbing
  • Licking
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin
  • Skin infections
  • Skin sores, often open sores from scratching and biting
  • Scabs on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Ear infections or waxy ears – Red, swollen, inflamed, irritated ears and ear flaps

Dogs with Atopic dermatitis are usually continually itchy and unlike many humans, dogs do not “grow out” of their allergies, so treatment is usually prescribed.

Dog

Treatment

If your dog develops signs of Atopic dermatitis, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Certain treatment such as shampoos can help relieve the itching. Antihistamines can get the allergies under control for a period of time. Where possible, owners should to minimize the pet’s exposure to the allergens.

Below are some treatment your vet may suggest:

  • Supplements such as: Efavet, Coatex, Yumega
  • Antihistamines
  • Apoquel – Medication
  • Atopica – Medication

Prevention

Atopy is a lifelong condition so it’s incurable. By using various combinations of therapy and treatment, atopic dogs can live a happy and healthy life.

Don’t forget insuring your pet from an early age ensures that they are protected if they become ill or develop an allergy. With our lifetime cover they will get the ongoing treatment they need, as we will pay for your pet’s treatment. Find out more about our dog insurance and compare policy benefits online.

By Jennifer Nash

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