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What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

Most pet owners that have a dog diagnosed with canine Atopic Dermatitis are surprised and unsure of what exactly it is. Most pet owners don’t realize that allergies are just as common in pets as they are in humans, and can cause cats and dogs quite a bit of suffering.

What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

This common skin problem is a predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following exposure to substances that are usually harmless, but have triggered an allergic response. Two of the most common offenders are dust mites and pollen, which are incredibly difficult for pets to avoid, since dust mites are virtually everywhere and pollen permeates the air outdoors.

In some instances, a highly allergic pet may have several allergies at once. The severity of allergies, which can be seasonal or year round, varies greatly. 
The most common symptom from an allergy is intense itching (known aspruritus), which may be localized at spots or might be systemic, covering the pet’s entire body.

There are also contact Allergies. Fleas are a common source of contact allergies. Other common contact allergens include grasses, hay, plants, and trees. Toxins and chemicals (pesticides, carpet cleaners, etc.) provide additional potential sources for dog skin problems for both outdoor and indoor pets. For a dog that is seldom exposed to fleas, a single flea bite can inflame a dog’s skin for several days.

The most common symptoms of canine atopic dermatitis include itching, excessive scratching, rubbing on the carpet, hair loss, greasy or flaky skin with a foul odour, excessive chewing on the paws and areas such as the groin and armpits. Over time, the skin that is scratched can develop hot spots – raw, inflamed areas – that may become infected. Unfortunately, once dogs develop this problem they usually suffer more and more each year because their skin becomes more sensitive over time. What may start out as canine atopic dermatitis only in the spring and fall can become a year-round problem as your dog ages and his skin becomes increasingly sensitive.

Some dogs are more prone to developing allergies than others. Dog atopic dermatitis is especially prevalent in Boxers, bulldogs, Retrievers, Shar-Peis, Beagles, Dalmatians and Irish Setters, although any breed of dog can develop it. In fact, the incidence of atopic dermatitis in dogs is increasing every year according to veterinarians.

Helping Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Although atopic dermatitis in dogs is on the rise, there are ways you can help protect your pet against it. You can’t avoid pollen entirely since your dog will spend time out of doors, but if you can keep the air in your home clean and fresh, you can minimize the potential for an allergic reaction. You can also clean your air of dust mites and mould spores indoors so that they are no longer a potential problem.

A key point to remember is this:  There is no cure for allergies!  What we can do is avoid the food, material or parasites that is triggering the immune response, and treat both the symptoms and the resulting infections to restore the skin to good health.
Always, at the very first sign of itching, look for broken skin, a bite, a sore, or any irritation, and apply DERMagic Skin Rescue  Lotion or Hot Spot Salve to kill the infection and prevent the irritation from getting worse. In most cases, this is the only remedy you will need.

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