Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

Atopic dermatitis in dogs is a condition that affects many dogs. Typical symptoms are dry, red skin, itching, scratching, rubbing against walls or furniture, and licking and pawing at the affected areas.

The main cause of atopic dermatitis in dogs is environmental allergies. These can include dust, pollen, mold, and grasses. Dogs may also be allergic to certain foods. Common food allergens are egg, beef, pork, milk, and soy.

In addition to skin allergies, some pets may be allergic to external parasites, such as fleas, worms, or mites. Those infections can make it more difficult for a dog to recover from atopic dermatitis.

Medications are often used to relieve atopy, though some can be harmful. For example, cortisone products have been known to cause behavioral changes and even diabetes. Other medications, such as systemic antibiotics, are used to reduce itchiness.

If you’re unsure of how to treat atopic dermatitis in your dog, consult a veterinarian. Allergen immunotherapy, which involves injecting your pet with allergy serum, is a treatment option.

In severe cases, a multimodal, measured approach is necessary. This means that your veterinarian will assess the extent of the allergic reaction, as well as the environmental triggers that might be contributing to the flare-up.

Your vet will prescribe medications that can help to control your dog’s atopic dermatitis. Typically, the medication works by reducing the immune system’s overreaction to the allergen. As a result, it can ease the itchiness, and also prevent secondary bacterial infections.