What is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is an inappropriate immune response to environmental substances that therefore causes inflammation of the skin.
Causes There is a genetic predisposition for atopic dermatitis. Several allergens can be responsible for triggering atopic dermatitis including grass, pollen, dust mites and storage mites.
Any animal can be affected by atopic dermatitis but certain breeds such as West Highland White Terriers and Shar Peis are more prone to developing the disease.
Clinical signs include itching and can affect all areas of the animal especially ears, axillas (armpits), groin and limbs. Reddening of the skin, increased pigmentation, rashes and infection occurs due to the inflammatory process.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Diagnosis of atopic dermatitis can be difficult and involves identifying and treating any other potential contributing factors such as external parasites. There is no specific test for atopic dermatitis. Several treatment options are available and your veterinary surgeon will formulate an appropriate treatment plan.