Atopic dermatitis in dogs causes itchy, painful skin, but a combination of holistic, natural measures can help relieve the irritation.
We all know how challenging it is to have itchy skin, and it’s no different for dogs. Atopic dermatitis in dogs is caused by an allergic skin reaction to flea bites, certain types of food, inhalation, or skin contact with airborne substances like pollen, mold spores, and house dust mites, all of which affect the normal bacterial flora and yeast on their skin.
The allergic reaction makes the dog want to rub, lick and scratch the affected areas of the body, which, of course, makes them even itchier and can contribute to the development of sores, infection, and other dog skin diseases. Most animals prone to allergies show signs of reaction between the ages of 1 and 3 years.
The most common signs of Canine Atopic Dermatitis are excessive scratching, itching, rubbing on the carpet, skin that weeps or gives off an unpleasant smell, and chewing on areas like the paws, groin, and armpits. After a dog has been scratching a particular area for some time, it can develop “hot spots” where the hair disappears and is replaced by raw, inflamed areas of skin. Once this condition starts it doesn’t usually go away, and pets get worse every year. The existence of atopic dermatitis can also make your pet more sensitive to flea bites, which cause a similar condition called flea dermatitis.
Some dog breeds are more likely to develop hereditary canine skin disorders than others. Dog atopic dermatitis is seen most often in these breeds:
although any breed of dog can develop it. What’s more, the number of pets getting atopic dermatitis in dogs is growing every year, according to BMC Veterinary Research.
Once your dog is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, there are several ways you can treat him (or her). Some of the conventional veterinary dog skin allergy remedies are:
Medication administered for atopic dermatitis in dogs includes antihistamines, steroids or immunosuppressant drugs like cyclosporine and oclacitinib, all of which can produce harmful side effects.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy is aimed at making the dog less sensitive to the allergens. It’s based on giving the dog diluted allergens to build up his resistance to them. This treatment is known to be fairly effective, but it takes a long time to show results and often needs to be continued for the dog’s lifetime.
Many pet owners don’t want their dogs exposed to strong chemical prescription drugs, and try to manage their allergies in a natural, holistic way.
The first step to managing canine skin diseases naturally is to try and avoid triggering an allergic reaction in the first place. This means removing the allergens from your dog’s environment, as far as possible. This can be difficult until you know exactly what the main triggers are, but steps that help include:
Some people also advocate the topical application of organic coconut oil to the dog’s skin before bathing or rinsing. It’s believed to soothe allergic skin conditions.
Many dogs start out being only mildly susceptible to allergic reactions, but after the first few flare-ups, they develop reactions more easily. If your pet shows early signs of dog skin allergies or is one of the breeds mentioned above, it can be useful to start him on natural health supplements at an early age to boost his immune system.
Fatty acid supplements such as omega-3 and omega-6 can reduce the inflammation that causes atopic dermatitis in dogs. The anti-inflammatory benefits develop from the conversion of the fatty acids into prostaglandins.
Naturally-formulated remedies such as Maxwell Pet Skin & Allergy contain a blend of natural biotherapy ingredients that helps soothe skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies by maintaining a normal inflammatory response. This formula is ideal for pet owners who would prefer to avoid the harmful side effects of prescription drugs for their best friend.