Atopic dermatitis is a common pet health problem among both dogs and cats; however it is seen more often in canines. This condition is typically caused by allergies to such things as dust mites, pollen and household spores. It usually develops around 18 months to two years of age and can be a bit difficult to control.
How Atopic Dermatitis Affects Your Pet
When atopic dermatitis is left untreated, your pet's skin will be extremely itchy. As such, your dog or cat will do anything to relieve the itching. This can include scratching, biting, chewing and rubbing its body along tables, walls or even concrete. This, in turn, can lead to irritations and open sores. When open sores result, pets become vulnerable to skin and ear infections. With that said, it is essential for you to take your pet to a veterinarian immediately if you see any of the symptoms listed below. Treatment will help control and reduce the intensity of any flare-ups your dog or cat may have.
Common Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis
Common Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis in Pets: Intense Itching, Constant Scratching, Biting, Licking and Chewing of the Skin/Body, Face/Body Rubbing, Sneezing, Runny Nose, Watery Eyes, Open Sores and/or Scabs, Inflamed Skin and/or Ear Flaps, Hair Loss, Dry, Flaky or Crusty Skin, Thick, Dark-Colored Skin, Bad-Smelling, Greasy Skin, Bad-Smelling Ears and/or Ear, Infections, Excessive Dark-Colored Wax Buildup in Ears.
Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis
While the most effective solution to atopic dermatitis is changing your pet's living environment and eliminating the allergens, this is virtually impossible. However, proper treatment can help relieve your dog or cat's symptoms allowing it to live a more comfortable life. The first thing your vet will do is treat any associated skin problems such as external parasites, pyoderma and seborrhea. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, Hydrocortisone, and/or Pramoxine are often prescribed to help control the itching. Derm Caps and other omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help as well. Additionally, there are a variety of excellent shampoos available that can help keep allergens off your pet's fur, treat bacterial infections and control seborrhea. Other treatment options you may choose include immunotherapy and hypoallergenic diets.
As stated previously, both dogs and cats can develop atopic dermatitis; however, it is seen much more often in canines. This is typically an inherited condition and is one of the most common allergies in dogs. There are some breeds that are more predisposed to the condition though, and they are listed below: Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Lhasa Apsos, West Highland White and Wire-Haired Fox Terriers, Poodles, Dalmatians, English and Irish Setters, Bulldogs and Boxers.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.