Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

Atopic dermatitis in dogs is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the skin that is associated with allergies. The allergic skin reaction can be triggered by many things, most often by insects, pollen, mold, animal dander, etc.

animal dander sign with veterinary stethoscope

If you notice any abnormal changes on your dog’s skin or any of the symptoms listed below, contact your veterinarian ASAP. Treatment of your dog’s dermatitis will be in accordance with the cause and will be determined by your veterinarian.

What is Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs?

Skin inflammation is one of the most common problems that afflict dogs. Dermatitis, which is an alteration in the condition of the skin due to inflammation, also happens quite commonly in some breeds.

This article will explore dermatitis in dogs and provide helpful information about what types of dermatitis are most prevalent for specific breeds. It will also outline some ways you can use to avoid this problem so your dog stays healthy.

dog with dermatitis on eye

Dermatitis in Dogs – The Causes

Dermatitis has many causes and associated symptoms which range from mild to severe. In most cases, dogs that have skin inflammation will have red or pink skin accompanied by thickened skin as well as flaky skin.

In some cases, the skin may be raw and bleed easily. In other cases, there may be a discharge from the inflamed area.

In breeds that are prone to developing dermatitis, the condition will show up more frequently during certain times of the year. Common seasonal triggers include allergens like pollen, seasonal mites like fleas, and seasonal food allergies that cause itching which leads to dermatitis.

Where Does Dog Dermatitis Manifest Itself?

The most common areas that dogs develop dermatitis in include the ears, feet, and face. The ears may have any of a number of different symptoms including a discharge from them or a strange odor. The feet may have dermatitis which makes it difficult for the dog to walk on its paws and it may limp if it’s a serious case.

Dermatitis in dogs should always be treated by your veterinarian because it often requires an antibiotic or antifungal medication.

The most common areas that dogs develop dermatitis in include the ears, feet, and face. The ears may have any of a number of different symptoms including a discharge from them or a strange odor. The feet may have dermatitis which makes it difficult for the dog to walk on its paws and it may limp if it’s a serious case.

Dermatitis in dogs should always be treated by your veterinarian because it often requires an antibiotic or antifungal medication. In addition, it may require a corticosteroid as well as a topical or oral antihistamine to treat the inflammation.

In some cases, dermatitis will resolve on its own after treatment beginning with an antihistamine medication. In other cases, you may need to use a topical or oral corticosteroid medication to help prevent the skin from becoming inflamed again. It’s important to note that some dogs require multiple treatments for allergies and dermatitis before their problem resolves completely.

The Types of Dermatitis in Dogs

There are several types of dermatitis, including allergic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, staphylococcal dermatitis, and bacterial dermatitis.

Dermatitis is often diagnosed by examining the affected area. A biopsy may be required in some cases for a full diagnosis. Different types of tests can be performed to determine the cause. Some tests may include blood work, biopsies, skin scrapings, and cytology tests.

Treatment is usually specific to the type of dermatitis and may include corticosteroids, antibiotics, and anti-fungal medications, or topical treatments such as shampoos or sprays.

Your dog may need several weeks of treatment depending on the skin condition. It is important to understand that it can take some time for your dog’s skin to recover from this type of skin disorder. The results of treatment may not be seen for several weeks.

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