Canine Atopy is sometimes referred to as Atopic Dermatitis or Airborne Dog Allergy. It is caused by exposure to allergens in the air that are taken in either through the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract or skin. Typical sources of canine atopy are pollen, grass, mold, dust and pollution. Since many of these substances are linked to changes in the seasons, it is also sometimes referred to as Dog Seasonal Allergy or Environmental Allergy. Canine atopy is the most common form of dog allergy affecting approximately ten percent of all dogs.
Causes of Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs
Canine dermatitis is caused by hypersensitivity to environmental elements and is usually passed down genetically. However, a form of acquired atopy can occur as a result of something called In-Housing. In-Housing takes place when a dog kept indoors over long periods of time is suddenly let out into an environment for which it has lost resistance to environmental allergens due to lack of exposure.
Symptoms of Canine Dermatitis
Since environmental factors cause canine atopy, and since your dog’s skin is the part of its body most exposed to the environment, skin inflammation and itching are the most common symptoms of the condition. Other typical signs that your dog is suffering from an airborne dog allergy include:
· Belly and paw licking,
· Face rubbing
· Ear scratching
Of course, since airborne allergies can also be inhaled, inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose can also occur, leading to a condition similar to hay fever in humans. A dog suffering from this form of canine atopy might exhibit the following symptoms:
· Runny nose
· Mild fever
Treatment for Canine Dermatitis
National Pet Pharmacy carries a number of supplements, shampoos and medicated sprays that can aid in the treatment of airborne allergy symptoms, among them Oxy-Med Itch Relief, Sulfodene Medicated Shampoo and Vetoquinol Micro Pearl Advantage Dermal Soothe Anti-Itch Cream Rinse. In more extreme cases, your veterinarian might recommend allergy shots.