When your dog starts itching like crazy, you will inevitably become worried. Itching can be caused by a lot of things, and it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause without a visit to the vet. One possibility you should be aware of is atopic dermatitis.
Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease in dogs and cats. It is a genetically predisposed inflammatory and pruritic affection. This means that your dog has a genetic issue that affects the skin barrier and causes allergies to environmental factors. As an effect, the skin gets itchy and irritated from things that wouldn’t bother most dogs.
Just as with dermatitis in humans, atopic dermatitis is still researched and veterinarians are still learning about it.
If you see that your dog shows signs of environmental allergies, they might have atopic dermatitis. Amongst these symptoms are itching, inflammation, patchy skin, and secondary infections. Dermatitis creates hotspots, which are areas of concentrated inflamed skin, in spots like the armpits, stomach, paws, ears, and face. The dogs develop environmental allergies until around three years. All these signs are similar to allergies to food and fleas, so the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is usually given by the process of elimination.
There are lots of treatments out there. One method is immunotherapy, which is basically allergy shots. This works by giving the patients small doses of the thing they’re allergic to. Over time, the immune system starts to adjust. This method is about 80 precent efficient. Other treatments might include steroids and prescription medication.
If you notice any symptoms, it is best to contact a vet as soon as possible.