Atopic dermatitis is an allergic condition that affects roughly 9% of dogs that are between 1 and 3 years old. It is can be extremely itchy and can lead to swelling and other symptoms. The condition is treated with the help of antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs Symptoms
- Redness and swelling of the affected area; the skin may also be warm to the touch.
- Hair loss may occur when owners notice that the affected area is going bald.
- Scratching and itching is frequent in atopic dermatitis, and owners often report it as constant itching that distracts the dog from its regular activities.
- Scaling and crusting is when the dogs experience weeping from the inflamed skin or that the affected area looks wet.
Possible Causes of Atopic Dermatitis
- Food allergies, some dogs are allergic to the components of commercial dog food. Specific food allergies may also be present.
- Flea and tick bites
- Airborne allergens
- Bacterial/fungal infection
Atopic Dermatitis Treatment for Dogs
Listed below are some of the most common drug types used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. These medications can be given orally or applied to the skin as a topical treatment.
- Antihistamines – these help to bring down the signs and symptoms of the allergic reaction.
- Corticosteroids – help to bring down the swelling, this also helps relieve the itching.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – this can help with the swelling and can also help with the pain.
Natural Treatment Option
Aside from drugs, there are several natural treatment options owners can go for. Depending on the severity of the condition, these can be used independently or they can be used together with conventional treatments.
Common natural options for atopic dermatitis in dogs include:
- Aloe Vera – this herb is known for its soothing effect on the skin.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – feedings dogs with food rich in fatty acids can help control atopic dermatitis outbreaks.
- Hot and cold compresses – these can help to relieve the pain and keep the dog from scratching.
In addition to these treatments, certain lifestyle changes can help to prevent an atopic dermatitis outbreak.
- Avoid allergens that trigger a reaction.
- Bathe pets frequently, at least once a week. During dry weather and for pets that have dry skin, owners can choose to use a moisturizing pet soap or shampoo. Dogs with oily skin may be given drying powders.