About canine atopic dermatitis
Canine atopic dermatitis, also known as atopy, is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory skin condition caused by an allergic reaction. A hypersensitivity to normally harmless environmental organisms that the majority of dogs tolerate without issue. Some breeds are more likely to be genetically prone to canine atopic dermatitis than others. Westies, Boxers and Dalmatians for example. For most dogs however, it’s simply one of those things. Some dogs suffer from it, some dogs don’t!
Symptoms of canine atopic dermatitis
The symptoms of canine atopic dermatitis are numerous. They include itchy skin, particularly around the face, ears and feet, beneath the armpits and around the tummy areas. This is likely to be characterized by excessive itching and scratching, seemingly endless bouts of paw chewing, skin licking and nibbling. This can be coupled with recurrent ear infections, rashes and redness or increased pigmentation of the skin. These symptoms can sometimes be accompanied by watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
Causes of canine atopic dermatitis
Amongst the most common causes of canine atopic dermatitis are house dust and storage mites, mould, grass, weeds, flowers and their related airborne particles such as pollen. All normal and harmless to most dogs, but not to a dog who suffers from atopy!
Natural remedies and treatments for canine atopic dermatitis
As a pet parent, the first thing you should consider if your dog displays the symptoms of canine atopic dermatitis is how to improve his or her diet. By improving your dog’s diet, you’ll help improve the skin and boost the immune system making he or she better able to defend against allergens.
Medication will simply suppress the immune system which frequently causes other problems. An improved diet on the other hand will boost your dog’s immune system making it better able to deal with troublesome allergies. By all means consult your dog’s vet if symptoms persist, but rule out the obvious things first.
Supplement an improved diet with cocount oil which has both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, or omega-3-rich fish body oil such as salmon oil.