Canine Atopic Dermatitis
Have you noticed your dog excessively rubbing at his face, shaking his head and ears, chewing and gnawing at his paws and generally scratching? If so, he may have a skin condition for which there are a number of possible causes.
The most common causes of your dog’s discomfort are likely to be:
- Skin and/or ear infection
- External parasites
- Food allergy
- Atopic Dermatitis
Your dog will need a thorough examination by your vet in order for the vet to make a diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment. Your vet may also need to carry out skin tests such as skin scrapes and hair plucks. Once skin and/or ear infection and external parasites have been eliminated, it is likely that your dog is suffering from a skin allergy of which there are two types – Atopic dermatitis or food allergy. A food trial will need to be carried out to identify if a food allergy is the cause or if it can be eliminated.
This is a chronic itchy skin disease which can affect both dogs and humans. It happens when the immune system reacts abnormally to allergens in the environment, causing symptoms such as:
- Scratch marks
- Discolouration of the skin
- Skin thickening
- Self-induced hair loss
The disease can affect just a few areas of the body or can be widespread across the whole body. Your dog may require blood or skin tests to identify what your dog is allergic to.
It is a disease that requires lifelong treatment.
If you are concerned that your dog may have a skin condition, always consult your vet who will be able to advise the most appropriate treatment for your dog.