Admiring our pets is magical, isn’t it? And if there is something that cuts the heart, it is not seeing them well and happy. In that sense, if you notice that your pet often itches to the point of crying or suffering from the situation, it is good to keep an eye on it. Perhaps it’s Canine Atopic Dermatitis.

Dog Skin Allergies: What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine Atopic Dermatitis is a term which simply indicates skin inflammation. It also corresponds to a situation where the skin is irritated, causing itching and tingling.

Severe skin disease caused by an inflammation linked to an allergy. In fact, atopic dermatitis is one among the most common skin disease in dogs. Dogs with dermatitis scratch a lot trying to relieve itching.

Dermatitis in dogs usually begins with a cycle of itching and scratching, although sometimes it appears in irregular patterns. Affected dogs can develop hot spots, which are usually swollen and painful areas that can be foul and ooze pus. Sometimes, the causes of dermatitis are unknown, which causes it to be a very frustrating disease for owners of affected dogs.

Normally, the dogs most likely to develop this disease are dogs that are between 3 months and six years of age.

Dog Skin Problems: What are the Causes of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine Atopic Dermatitis is a genetic disease. In Canine Atopic Dermatitis, genetic alterations lead to an abnormality in the constitution of the cutaneous barrier causing an increased sensitivity of the skin to food or environmental allergens such as dust, pollen or mites.

Since this disease is of genetic origin, some dog breeds are therefore predisposed. This is the case of boxers, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Westie, Jack Russel, Beauceron, Shar-peĂŻ, Yorkshire.

The causes of dermatitis in dogs may be unknown, but it is helpful to have a general idea of the anatomy of the skin to know what happens to it when it becomes irritated or inflamed. Normally, whatever has the capacity to cause irritation to the skin of a dog can trigger dermatitis; these can be:

  • Having direct contact with an animal, object, plant or irritating chemical substance.
  • Excess rubbing of the skin.
  • Infection by parasites (fleas, flies, ticks, mites, lice, worms).
  • Skin allergies or hypersensitivity.
  • Allergies to food.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Canine acne.
  • Pyoderma in the dog.
  • Tumors (cysts, bruises, lipomas, adenoma, melanomas, papillomas or others).
  • Yeasts or fungi

Dog Skin Conditions: Types of Dermatitis in Dogs

  • Canine Atopic dermatitis.
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis.
  • Contact dermatitis.
  • Fungal dermatitis.

Dog Skin Problems! Know Which Dogs are at Risk of Developing Canine Atopic Dermatitis?

As the disease has a genetic character, it may be more frequent in families or some breeds of dogs. It is detected mainly between the 1st and 3rd year of age. However, it may appear in older dogs that change their environment (e.g., moving house) and are exposed to new allergens.

The predisposition also seems to involve a greater tendency for a response with high IgE, early contact with the antigen (e.g., birth at pollen heights) or the presence of parasitic diseases.

  • Boxers;
  • English and French Bulldog;
  • Chihuahuas;
  • Terriers (Yorkshire Terriers, West Highland White Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Boston Terrier);
  • Golden Retrievers;
  • German Shepherd;
  • Dalmatians;
  • Labrador Retriever;
  • Cocker Spaniel;
  • Pugs;
  • Shar Pei;
  • Setter (Gordon, Irish, English);
  • Lhasa Apsos;
  • Shih Tzus;
  • Miniature Schnauzer;
  • Belgian Tervurens;
  • Shuba inus;
  • Beaucerons;
  • Chow chow.

Although the signs appear between the 1st and 3rd year, some breeds may be early. Breeds like Akita, Chow-Chow, Golden Retriever and Shar Pei may show signs of atopy from 2 months.

Dog Dry Skin? Symptoms of Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine Atopic dermatitis causes thickening and redness of the skin, associated with severe itching (pruritus of the dog). In itself, this dog skin disease even looks like simple eczema. The skin lesions causing itching are most often located in the ears (otitis), eyes, belly or fingers (pododermatitis). There may also be a fatty hair ( sebborheic dermatitis ), crusts or depilation.

Canine atopy, or Canine Atopic Dermatitis, may present in a moderate form with only a few outbreaks of cutaneous irritation per year, as it may occur in much more severe and chronic forms, often accompanied by secondary infections of the dog’s skin by bacteria, parasites or fungi.

Also, if your dog has dermatitis, it may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Continuous scraping
  • Presence of dandruff
  • Desquamation of the coat
  • Crusts and wounds
  • Redness
  • Dry skin
  • Alterations of the coat
  • Agitation

Natural Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis

Canine Atopic Dermatitis in dogs has no cure, but if it is treated properly, it will allow the dog to enjoy a good quality of life.  Some home remedies for dermatitis in dogs include :

  • Avoid walking your dog in the spring early in the morning or in the afternoon, which is when more pollen and mites are in the air.
  • Check your dog’s diet and consult your veterinarian should you change to a dog diet for dermatitis or better quality. Natural dog food is an excellent choice.
  • Brush your dog’s hair daily to avoid dandruff and remove accumulated dirt.
  • In autumn, avoid mountainous places, which is when more fungal spores are in the air.
  • Frequently clean your dog’s comfort zone to eliminate mites, loose hairs, dust, and dirt.
  • Use cotton clothes or natural composition for your dog and avoid wool.

These are some home remedies that will help your dog and prevent most serious symptoms of this disease but do not forget that your veterinarian is responsible for giving you the appropriate advice for your dog, so it is advisable to go to him.

Essential Oils for Dog Dry Skin? Essential Oils are Very Effective in Relieving Dermatitis

In addition to these home remedies, there is another way to minimize the itching felt by your dog, reduce swelling and also injuries. Herbal essential oils and cosmetics stores are ideal for atopic dermatitis. They are not a solution, but it is a great natural remedy. Thanks to having a large number of B vitamins and being fat, they give your dog the relief it needs.

With these remedies, you will make your dog feel much better, but remember that dermatitis, allergies and flea and tick bites have to be treated with specific remedies that a veterinarian has to prescribe for you. As always, the best thing for these cases is prevention.

In conclusion, whoever owns a dog that has once suffered from canine atopic dermatitis knows the discomforts that come with the disease, such as excessive itching, reddening of the skin and small wounds. The disease is also among the most common in dogs, and usually, the first signs of trouble appear between three months and six years. As a result, the steps above would act as a sure guide towards providing a remedy for your dog with atopic dermatitis.

About The Author

Alica is the owner of  Hellowdog. Along with raising two beautiful children and two adorable dogs, she is a woman who loves to travel, socialize, fish, garden, and read. In short, she is just like you a woman, who is passionate about the care of her dogs and wishes to share that with all of you.