Are you avoiding your dog's kisses because of his foul breath? If it is an ongoing problem, it could be the symptom of a serious health issue. Learn more about some of the causes of bad breath in dogs. READ MORE
Does your pet suffer from arthritis? Dogs and cats are expert at hiding their pain, but there are some clues to look for to find out if your pet is silently bearing the pain of arthritis. Learn more. READ MORE
Don't let allergies stop you from adopting a cat. If you have relatively mild allergies, there are some breeds that have a much lower chance of causing a reaction. Learn more about them here. READ MORE
We often think packaged pet snacks are the best and healthiest treats in the world, but a lot of those snacks and treats are the equivalent of candy for pets. Learn why and what you can do to make snack time healthier. READ MORE
Veterinary pet care will progressively involve greater technology and become more expensive. Here are important questions you will need to ask during discussions about diagnostics and treatment. Read here. READ MORE
Importing homeless animals to the United States can put the health and lives of our own pets at risk. Dr. Coates reports on a case that appeared in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s December 2015 Morbidity and Mortality weekly report. READ MORE
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory, chronic skin disease associated with allergies. In fact, this is the second most common allergic skin disease in dogs. These allergic reactions can be brought on by normally harmless substances like grass, mold spores, house dust mites, and other environmental allergens.
Dogs normally show signs of the disease between 3 months and 6 years of age, though atopic dermatitis can be so mild the first year that it does not become clinically apparent before the third year.
Despite the fact dogs are more prone to atopic dermatitis than cats, it does occur in felines. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
Often symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis progressively worsen with time, though they become more apparent during certain seasons. The most commonly affected areas in dogs include the:
Around the eyes
In between the toes
The signs associated with atopic dermatitis, meanwhile, consist of itching, scratching, rubbing, and licking, especially around the face, paws, and underarms.
Early onset is often associated with a family history of skin allergies. This may lead the dog to become more susceptible to allergens such as:
Airborne pollens (grasses, weeds, trees, etc.)
Mold spores (indoor and outdoor)
House dust mite
Your veterinarian will want a complete medical history to determine the underlying cause of the skin allergies, including a physical examination of the dog.
Serologic allergy testing may be performed, but it does not always have reliable results. The quality of this kind of testing often depends on the laboratory which analyzes the results. Intradermal testing, whereby small amounts of test allergens are injected in the skin and wheal (a red bump) response is measured, may also used to identify the cause of your pet's allergic reaction.