So what is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic dermatitis is an inherited predisposition to develop an allergic response, manifesting as skin inflammation, to otherwise harmless substances, such as house dust, house dust mites, pollens, grasses, wandering jew, mold, etc. So, in other words, cats and dogs either inhale, eat or touch something they are allergic to and this mainly manifests in skin irritation and itching.
What happens to the body?
Atopic dermatitis is an allergic response to a substance your cat or dog has come into contact with via the air or the environment. Either by being absorbed through the respiratory tract or by contact with the skin. After flea allergic dermatitis, it is the dog's second most common skin disease.
Most allergies will become apparent by 1 to 3 years old.
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.
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.
What are the signs?
In the early stages, it may be obscure. The animal may start to scratch, particularly at the ears and undercarriage of the body. There could be feet chewing or licking. If your animal has a brown stain on its fur, it is usually a sign of licking, as the saliva turns their fur this colour. They could rub their face, have watery or inflamed eyes, and sneeze.
The scratching and licking can go deeper as the reaction develops and deepens. Finally, the animal can scratch or nibble until bleeding and raw. Your pet can lose fur and get scabs and sores that crust over. Also, secondary bacterial infections can set in.
Ears can also be involved, they can get red and inflamed, and the animals could scratch them and injure the flaps and inside of the ear. In addition, they can have a brown waxy discharge that can have an offensive smell.
With the scratching, they can develop thickened areas of skin that can lose the normal colour in the pigment and turn dark brown.
Remember, all animals are individuals, so every animal will not show every symptom from above, and some will be more severe than others. Some pets can be exceedingly miserable and depressed with these symptoms.
What can you do to help?
Trying to find out what the animal is allergic to is a start, then trying to minimise contact with it. Changing to a raw diet as this will help to reduce inflammation.
Giving oatmeal baths: 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 and is a great short-term measure to give relief.
What can Natural Pet do to help?
Remedies in the Tagiwig range that can help to support the normal immune response of your pet that is suffering from Atopic Dermatitis are:
Spring – for allergies to grass, pollen, and wandering jew
Spring (Hom) - homeopathic only blend for allergies to grass, pollen, and wandering jew
What is 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 house dust
Immune Tonic – to support the immune system
Allergies are immune system issues. So 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. Check out our article, "Getting Help for your pet with Eczema and Skin Issues." So if this is of interest, please email or phone.
Posted: Friday 26 November 2021