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Atopic Dermatitis in Cats and Dogs

Atopic Dermatitis in Cats and Dogs

What is Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs and Cats?

Atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats is an inherited predisposition where they develop an allergic response to harmless substances like house dust, dust mites, pollen, grass, certain plants like wandering jew and molds. When dogs and cats with atopic dermatitis either inhale, eat or touch something they are allergic to, their skin starts itching and irritating. 

Understanding Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs and Cats: How It Affects the Body

Atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats is a common allergic skin disease when they come into contact with the environment. This condition, second only to flea allergic, dermatitis in dogs typically manifests in pets between 1 to 3 years of age. Initial symptoms are often seasonal, frequently starting towards the end of summer, and may progress to become year-round issues.

Symptoms will usually start seasonally, with an increase in allergens. Quite often, the first response can be near the end of summer. As the animal has this response, it starts to lower the immune system; the lower the immune system gets, the more allergic it will become to more substances. Eventually, their itch will evolve year-round.

Atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats is characterised by chronic itching, leading to self-inflicted skin damage. This constant scratching and skin trauma can further lead to secondary skin infections, such as bacterial pyodermas.

The immune system makes antibodies to particular substances the body is sensitive to. These antibodies sit in the skin, waiting to come in contact with the allergens protein. Upon this, they initiate a response to attack and destroy the invader. Unfortunately, this is an overreaction to a usually harmless substance in atopic pets.

Chronic self-trauma can lead to other skin diseases, such as bacterial pyodermas.

Studies have shown that in families where both parents have atopic skin diseases, up to 60% of their offspring will develop allergic diseases. In contrast, this can reduce up to 10% in the offspring of two animals unaffected by skin allergies.

Signs of Atopic Dermatitis: Dogs & Cats

In the early stages of atopic dermatitis, dogs and cats may start to scratch, particularly at the ears and undercarriage of the body. They could be feet chewing or licking. If your animal has a brown stain on its fur, it is usually a sign of atopic dermatitis in dogs, as their saliva turns their fur this colour. They could rub their face, have watery or inflamed eyes, and sneeze. 

As atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats progresses, the scratching and licking can go deeper as the reaction develops and deepens. They can scratch or nibble until bleeding and raw. Your pet can lose fur and get scabs and sores that crust over. These symptoms of dermatitis in cats and dogs can also lead to secondary bacterial infections. 

Ears are often affected by atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs. They can become red and inflamed, and the animals could scratch them and injure the flaps and inside of the ear. A brown, waxy discharge with a bad smell can also be a sign of ear issues related to atopic dermatitis dogs and cats suffer from. 

With the scratching, they can develop thickened areas of skin that can lose the normal colour in the pigment and turn dark brown. This is a common symptom of dermatitis in cats and dogs.

It’s important to remember that each animal is unique. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs can show up differently and some will be more severe than others. Some pets can become very unhappy and show signs of depression. 

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats can vary widely, but being aware of these signs can help in early identification and treatment. 

How You Can Help Reduce Dermatitis In Cats And Dogs

Identifying what triggers atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats is a start, then trying to minimise contact with it. Changing to a raw diet as this will help to reduce inflammation. 

Oatmeal baths are effective for short-term relief from atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs. Take a few handfuls of oatmeal (porridge) and pour boiling water over the top. Once cooked, strain off the oatmeal and wash your pet with the infused water. This will help to reduce the irritation caused by dermatitis in cats and dogs.

How can Natural Pet help?

Natural Pet offers a range of remedies in the Tagiwig range to support the normal immune response of atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats. These include: 

  • Spring - ideal for atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats caused by allergies to grass, pollen and wandering jew
  • Spring (Hom) - a homeopathic only blend for atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats, for allergies to grass, pollen, and wandering jew

The difference? Spring is homeopathic and herbal, so it has a strong smell and taste. Spring (Hom) is homeopathic only, with very little smell or taste, and is also more economical as you use less per dose.

  • HDM - for allergies to house dust mites and dust
  • Immune Tonic - aids in supporting the immune system, crucial for managing atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats
  • Liver Tonic and Liver Tonic (Hom) - these tonics support the liver and the immune system 

Atopic dermatitis in dogs and cats often links to immune system issues. The key to getting on top of allergies long term is to boost the immune system. If your pet has had long-term skin and ear issues, this has developed into a chronic disease and will need to be addressed. In addition, they will usually have a leaky gut. Our Leaky Gut Kit helps cleanse, detox, and strengthen the gut system. 

Many people find their pets end up on a never-ending cycle of steroids, NSAIDs, and antibiotics with the associated side effects. But don't despair. We have had great success in helping thousands of pets over the years get off their meds and back to health. We offer a full consultation service, where we can develop a treatment plan individualised for your pet. If interested, feel free to reach out to us by email or phone for more details on managing atopic dermatitis in cats and dogs, and visit our article, "Getting Help for your pet with Eczema and Skin Issues.”

Explore our flea remedies for your cats and dogs.

Tags: Skin  Dogs  Cats  Tagiwig  

Posted: Friday 26 November 2021