Atopic Dermatitis

16 Nov 2020

Atopic dermatitis is a posh word for a skin reaction as a result of an environmental allergen.  It’s like having hayfever or asthma as a human only in this case the skin reacts to the allergen. 

The cause of the allergy may be seasonal (seasonal atopic dermatitis), for example pollen as opposed to all year round like dust mites.  Generally, your pet will only itch when the allergen is in abundance.  They may scratch their body, lick and chew their paws and rub their face.  Once the seasonal allergen goes, your pet’s symptoms may also lessen or disappear.

When your pet is experiencing irritation they tend to over groom which in turn damages the protective skin layer.  This may lead to an infection which would need treating.

Pollen Allergy

You pet might also show signs of an allergy by the appearance of their skin.  As you can see in the picture, the very pink shade of the paw is a sign that this pet has some kind of allergy but this reaction can also be seen anywhere on your pet, including in the ears.  It’s easier to see your pets skin if they are lighter in colour or show more skin on their tummy, or have less fur generally.  Certain breeds are more prone to skin issues, such as West Highland Terriers.

Owners can work with the vet to manage these allergies with the aim of making your pet more comfortable and trying to avoid the extra costs involved in treating secondary skin infections.

If this issue is affecting your pet, call the team on 01772 639800 and book your consultation.