What Causes Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs
Atopic dermatitis generally presents as red, inflamed, itchy skin, as seen on this Pit Bull. @heeeyitstina
Canine atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease. In simple terms, it causes your dogs immune system to overreact to allergens. Even normally harmless allergens like dust, house mites, and grass can cause problems. Because atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease, it wont ever disappear, and symptoms will flare up periodically.
The skin works as an outer layer of protection against allergens. But when your dog experiences dermatitis, the skin breaks down. Excessive scratching and skin injuries can trigger more severe reactions. Sadly, the bodys natural immune response makes things even worse.
S And Prospects For Elimination Of The Problem
It may be considered that individuals with atopic dermatitis should not be used for breeding. This would include any affected individual, even if only mildly affected. This is because environmental factors are certainly important in whether an atopic individual has clinical signs and how bad they are. So, a mildly affected individual does not necessarily have better genes than a severely affected one. Not breeding from animals with a close relative that has suffered from any degree of atopic dermatitis would also be recommended, based on general information given for reducing disease resulting from polygenetic conditions . But considerations should be given to not overbreed from individuals that are healthy, as far as atopy goes, but which could have other genetic problems as this could have unintended and undesirable genetic consequences . In breeds, such as the Labrador retriever, it may be necessary to widen the gene pool by introducing genes from other breeds.
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-peï, 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 .
- Skin allergies or hypersensitivity.
- 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.
Recommended Reading: Golden Retriever Tails
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 dogs 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 dogs 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 dogs 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
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.
About The Author
Recovery And Management Of Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs
Atopic dermatitis is a lifelong condition, and will not resolve on its own, which is why its necessary to manage your dogs environment and stay on top of daily health routines, including diet, clean living space, and weekly baths to remove any allergens that have attached themselves to the skin.
Once treatment begins, frequent visits to the veterinarian are necessary to determine how well your dog is responding. Some treatments work better than others, so it may involve some initial trial and error to find the one that works best. The goal is to have the least amount of side effects in the long term, and still allow for a good quality of life. As the symptoms start to subside, veterinary visits will become less frequent, but checkups are still needed to ensure your pups health.
You May Like: Husky Golden Retriver Mix
Diagnosis Of Canine Atopic Dermatitis
If an owner is concerned that their pet has allergies, they should take their dog to a vet and discuss the symptoms that their pet is exhibiting. Vets would be able to decipher and rate different skin diseases based on the history and the physical pattern of distribution present. The diagnosis of Atopic Dermatitis is based on the history and physical findings after ruling out other probable causes like parasitic infections. If the veterinarian is convinced that they are dealing with Atopy after ruling out other differentials, they can put your dog through one of the following:
- Intradermal Skin Test which generally requires referral to a specialist
- Blood or in a vitro allergy test
Immunologic And Skin Barrier Alterations
In cats, histopathologic features of atopy-like dermatitis include perivascular to diffuse dermal infiltration of T lymphocytes, activated antigen presenting cells, eosinophils, macrophages and high numbers of mast cells . A significant increase of CD4+T cells, IL-4 and CD1a+ dentritic cells was found in the skin of cats with atopy-like dermatitis, pointing to a Th2-mediated immune dysfunction , although cytokine pathways have not been investigated . Comparable to humans and dogs a fungal dysbiosis was found with next generation sequencing of skin swabs taken from healthy and allergic cats . Skin hydration as a measure of the skin barrier did not always correlate with clinical scoring indicating that a barrier defect may not be as relevant in cats .
Read Also: Goldendoodle Color Chart
Medication: Topical Steroid Cortavance*
What is it and how does it work?
An anti-inflammatory that inhibits the process of inflammation in the skin only, i.e. minimal systemic effects
How is it given?
Its a solution that is either:
- Sprayed onto the skin
How long does it take to have effect?
Effect can be quite rapid with obvious improvement after 1-2 weeks.
What is the cost?
1 bottle costs approximately £70 and once opened can be used for 6 months.
Are there any side effects?
Short-term: none reported
Long-term: thinning of the skin, alopecia, ulceration
* Licensed for use on the skin of the body only
Dare To Ditch The Dermatitis
Dermatitis, while uncomfortable and frustrating, is by no means unconquerable. The key to soothing your dogs itching and scratching is to stay vigilant with their treatment. Improper care could result in your dog scratching skin raw. Unfortunately, atopic dermatitis rarely goes away. However, frequent check-ups and fastidious care will keep your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
Reviewed by Dan Richardson, Veterinarian
Dan Richardson has been a practicing veterinarian for over 10 years. He specializes in surgery and orthopedics. Dan is originally from rural western Nevada and attended the University of Idaho for undergraduate study and Oregon State University for Veterinary School. The Richardson Family enjoys camping and spending time on the water fishing, paddle boarding, or digging their feet in the sand somewhere warm.
You May Like: Golden Retriever Ohio
How Is Dermatitis Diagnosed In Dogs
Some causes of dog dermatitis can be diagnosed by the areas affected and whether a single pet or several pets in a household have the symptoms.
Tests we can carry out during afree consultation are:
- Flea comb: Flea dirt or live fleas will indicate a flea infestation
- Tape strips: Where we use sellotape to collect a small sample of skin cells and surface bacteria which we can examine under a microscope. This will often show yeasts and bacteria if present.
- Skin scrapes: This is where we scrape the top surface of the skin to examine under a microscope. This is used to detect mites which live in the skin layer.
- Hair plucks: These will allow us to detect some parasitic and fungal infections.
- Woods lamp: A UV light is used to detect some types of fungal infection .
- Blood tests: These can be used for dogs with allergic dermatitis to find out what they are allergic to. This can sometimes be helpful to avoid the triggers of allergies.
Tests we may need to carry out under sedation are:
- Skin biopsy: Sometimes a full-thickness sample of skin is required to find certain types of mites and to detect certain skin conditions which cause hair loss.
- Skin scrapes: Of sensitive areas such as around the eyes or paws.
Why Is My Golden Retrievers Hair Thinning Should I Worry
Golden Retrievers are known to have thick and fluffy coats. So when Goldies hair starts to thin, its normal for pet owners to worry. Why is my Golden Retrievers hair thinning, you ask? The most common reason behind it is seasonal shedding. However, it can also point to poor diet, parasitic infestations, health issues, and more. Even stress can cause your dogs hair to fall off.
In this post, I will discuss each of these potential reasons and what you need to do about it. Golden Retrievers are quite high maintenance dogs, so you need to pay a lot of attention to their coat.
Just remember that coat health is more than just brushing and bathing. It also involves proper diet, regular vet checks, and more that I discussed below.
Also Check: Golden Retriever Grooming Needs
Treating Canine Atopy Holistically
If you don’t want to give your dog excessive amount of drugs such as steroids, consider a holistic approach. Use natural home remedies such as herbs, supplements, etc. to help to alleviate allergy symptoms in dogs and boost the dog’s immune system. Check out our page on Natural Alergy Relief for Dogs for more information.
Dog Dry Skin Symptoms Of Canine Atopic Dermatitis
Canine Atopic dermatitis causes thickening and redness of the skin, associated with severe itching . In itself, this dog skin disease even looks like simple eczema. The skin lesions causing itching are most often located in the ears , eyes, belly or fingers . There may also be a fatty hair , 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 dogs skin by bacteria, parasites or fungi.
Also, if your dog has dermatitis, it may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Continuous scraping
Recommended Reading: Stoney Ridge English Golden Retrievers
Golden Retriever Skin Issues Made Easy
So there you have it! Now that you know these common golden retriever skin issues, you know what to look out for.
Thick undercoats make golden retrievers very vulnerable to skin issues. Especially if they remain wet. Trapped moisture and a natural disposition for skin issues can be a disaster. The key is to be vigilant and make sure youre checking your dog on a regular basis.
Help Your Goldendoodle Live A Fulfilling Life
Your Goldendoodle may suffer from atopic dermatitis for life, but their longevity is dependent on their overall health. This means ensuring they lead a physically fit life with nutritional foods and an allergen-free and stress-free living environment. The Goldendoodle dog breed loves to socialize and making sure those emotional needs are met requires plenty of social interaction with humans and other animals. For example, take your dog to a public park or dog park where interaction with other people and dogs is unavoidable. These trips are great for your Goldendoodles emotional, mental, and physical health, but it also exposes immune-sensitive canines to potential allergens. Periodically checking on their skin and coat health should include routinely bathing, cleaning, and grooming them following any social gathering. Remember, skin conditions like CAD can be temporary, chronic, or stress-related. Keep your precious Goldendoodle anxiety and stress-free by investing in effective canine calming products that will improve their quality of life.
Read Also: Training Tips For Golden Retriever Puppies
Intradermal And Ige Testing
Allergy testing, which includes serologic evaluation of allergen-specific IgE and intradermal skin testing, should not be used for the diagnosis of CAD.6 Many healthy dogs are sensitized to environmental allergens and consequently have positive test results. Furthermore, many dogs with clinical signs of CAD have negative results on these tests the term atopic-like dermatitis describes this group of dogs.1,9 Allergy testing should be carried out only to identify allergens to be used for allergen-specific immunotherapy and desensitization .
Other Common Symptoms Of Cad
If you notice a yeasty smell emanating from your Goldendoodles skin or around their ears, this could be a sign of atopic dermatitis. If they scratch, rub, or lick around their eyes, ears, feet, underbelly, muzzle, armpits, groin, the base of the tail, paws, or in-between their toes, its time to inspect these areas for signs of atopy. Any patches of skin that seem red, tough, thick, greasy, overly dry, or too moist warrant a closer look as well.
Don’t Miss: Golden Retriever Great Pyrenees Mix Puppy
Symptoms Of Canine Atopic Dermatitis
If your dog is suffering from this condition, then it will be easy for you to notice it once the symptoms have started to show. This is because the symptoms are often concentrated on a dogs face, feet and underneath the front legs. These symptoms include:
- Chronic infection on the ears and skin
- Greasy skin
Compounding Ideas For Atopic Dermatitis
Pavilion Compounding Pharmacy can be a huge aid to the patient and the veterinarian by offering alternative dosage forms, ingredients, and bases that offer advantages in these cases. Apoquel tablets can be compounded into a fixed oil suspension formula to aid in administration. In cases where a more concentrated solution of cyclosporine is needed to aid administration, Cyclosporine 20% Oral Solution is a good option.
Topical medications can be used to treat AD either alone or in conjunction with the two previously mentioned chemicals as well. Creams, gels, ointment and shampoos are the various dosage forms that can be used. However, one major issue with using creams, gels, and ointments is they mat the fur and make it greasy and sticky when applied. This is very undesirable for many owners, especially those with show animals where appearance is extremely important. Pavilion Compounding Pharmacy can reformulate these products for the veterinarian using a base that soothes skin and does not mat the fur, such as PCCA ZoSil.
This combination of ingredients nourishes the skin and makes it a great choice in formulations for veterinary patients experiencing AD. And APIs such as antibiotics, antifungals, anti-inflammatories, anesthetics, antiseptics, and mast-cell stabilizers can be used in formulations with ZoSil.
Also Check: Best Bones For Golden Retriever Puppies
Bathing Your Golden Retriever
How Can Atopic Dermatitis Be Treated In Dogs And Cats
As previously mentioned, atopic dogs and cats have inflamed and itchy skin to protect the skin and make affected animals feel less itchy, anti-itch treatment should be started.
In general, there are six different anti-itch treatment options available, all with various pros and cons. There is not one option that suits all dogs and cats, so it is the responsibility of the dermatologist to choose the most suitable. Examples of factors influencing the decision include:
- If itching and/or the affected skin is localised or widespread
- How quickly it takes for the treatment to have an effect
- What treatment has been tried before and what has worked well
- How the skin looks and if a secondary infection is present
- Route of administration
- Cost and owner preference.
You May Like: Do Goldens Shed
Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms In Dogs
There are cases of atopy that may get worse with the passage of time, but there are short episodes as well. As in the case of cat atopic dermatitis, its main symptoms are:
- Excessive scratching
Also read our article on whether a dog can eat mandarins.
Each dog can receive a different treatment for atopic dermatitis, depending on its cause. Among the most common treatments are allergen injections, immunomodulant drugs, antibiotics, or fungal medicines that can treat allergy infections.
There are alternatives to medicinal products as well, if dermatitis has an easily treatable form or as an addition to the medicinal treatment. The doctor can also prescribe a shampoo that reduces the itching symptoms so that dogs wont make infit wounds over the body.