Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs: How Can You Treat and Prevent It?

Summer and allergies go hand in hand. It is the season that brings a host of allergies and diseases with them because it is this season when flowers bloom and pollen generation is the maximum. Moreover, the weather conditions are also quite favorable to all kinds of insects, mites and other nuisances that can cause skin allergies in pets.  In fact, the most common one is atopic dermatitis that takes a toll on dogs that are sensitive to environmental factors and have low immunity. Thus, as a responsible pet owner, you must be informed about the problems your pet can face so you can take precautionary measures in advance. So, here is a brief insight into the most prevalent condition in dogs to help you combat with it smartly.

What Is Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs?

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease which happens due to allergens like grass, mites, mold spores, pollen, dust, etc. These elements are treated as foreign objects by the body and thus, as a response, the body produces a reaction in the form of itching, scratching, hair loss, foul odor and hot spots on the whole body or at specific places including groin and armpits due to excessive scratching and chewing.

In fact, some dog breeds have a predisposition to develop atopic dermatitis specifically Bulldogs, Boxers, Beagles, Shar-Peis, and Retrievers. Moreover, the condition worsens and the skin gradually becomes more vulnerable and sensitive to such allergens.

How To Diagnose Atopic Dermatitis?

Since the condition produces obvious symptoms, it is easy to diagnose the presence of the disease. A vet may perform a complete physical examination of the body and may recommend serologic allergy testing to check the wheal response. This test helps in identifying the possible allergen easily and the treatment is recommended accordingly.

What is the Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis?

Hyposensitization therapy is usually performed to improve the atopic condition. Treatments including antihistamines and corticosteroids are also recommended to reduce the itchiness and scratching in dogs. Eg: Apoquel is an anti-inflammatory treatment which can be used to treat itching in dogs.


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Apoquel mechanism of action is defined by the ingredients it contains which include Janus Kinase inhibitor (JAK). These inhibitors are absorbed by the body which further stops the functioning of cytokines associated with itching in dogs.

Other topical treatments like sprays and solutions can also be administered to alleviate the symptoms.

Preventing Atopic Dermatitis

  • Atopic dermatitis in dogs is normally caused by environmental allergens like pollen, dust mites or moulds. Even a food allergy can also trigger this response and may lead to excessive itching.
  • Therefore, the first step to preventing such an allergic reaction in dogs is to avoid contact with these allergens.
  • Avoid foods that cause or may cause allergy in your pet.
  • Limit his outdoor activity.
  • Regular vet visits are also essential to make sure he stays disease free and can be treated without delay if he is suffering from one.
  • Other than that, good pet hygiene must be maintained by grooming him regularly and using anti-microbial shampoos to a bath.

In case your pet shows any signs of acute dermatitis, it is better to contact your vet first, before resorting to any treatments on your own.


You may also like to know Tried and Tested Tips to Control Fungal Skin Conditions in Dogs.