Why is my dog itching?

Atopic dermatitis or skin inflammation is a chronic skin disease caused by allergies, more common in dogs than cats. These allergic reactions can be from harmless substances like grass, mould spores and house dust mites.

What are the signs of skin inflammation in dogs?

  • Itching
  • Scratching
  • Rubbing
  • Licking, especially around the face, paws, and underarms.

How is atopic dermatitis diagnosed in dogs?

Your vet will need a complete medical history to determine the underlying cause of your pet’s skin allergies, including a physical examination. They may perform a serologic allergy test, but this doesn’t always have reliable results.

How is atopic dermatitis in dogs treated?

Medicines such as corticosteroids and antihistamines can be given to control or reduce your pet’s itching. Cyclosporine is effective in controlling itching from long-term skin allergies.

Sprays can also be used over large areas of your pet’s body to control their itching with minimal side effects. It’s a good idea to discuss costs with your vet before starting any treatment.

How do I avoid skin inflammation reoccurring?

Unfortunately, the atopic dermatitis may never completely go away. Once treatment has begun, your vet should see your pet every 2 to 8 weeks to keep an eye on the effectiveness of the treatment.

Once your pet’s itching is under control, your vet will want to see them every 3 to 12 months for check-ups. If your vet finds the trigger for your pet’s allergies, they will advise you what to do to avoid it.

If you’re thinking of adopting a pet with atopic dermatitis

Make sure you review the clinical history of your new pet and ask for more details on how the condition has been treated. You’ll need to sign a disclaimer to confirm you’ve been made aware of the condition. Any pet who’s had treatment is likely to have pet insurance exclusions, so it’s worth discussing potential on-going costs with your vet.

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