Diagnosing and Treating Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Diagnosing and Treating Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis is an allergic reaction to what is normally a harmless substance, known as an allergen, in your dog’s environment. Allergic reactions occur in exactly the same way as animals as they do in humans. Your dog’s body will see an allergen as a dangerous invader and so will produce chemicals to fight against it. Every animal is different and what could trigger an immune reaction in one dog could be completely harmless in another. 


Allergic responses can vary in severity and symptoms. Some pets will experience watery eyes or sneezing. One of the most common immune reactions to an allergy is a condition that is known as atopic dermatitis. 


What is Canine Atopic Dermatitis?


Atopic dermatitis is typically caused by the allergens that are found in pollen, plants, insects and the dander of other animals, but it is entirely possible for dogs to be allergic to medications and even some types of food and still experience a reaction that manifests on their skin. It is one of the most common allergic skin diseases in dogs and can affect your pet at any stage of their life. In many cases, atopic dermatitis in dogs is hereditary, with their being specific breeds that are more likely to experience the problem at some point during their lifetime. These include Labradors, Chinese Shar Peis, West Highland White Terriers, and Springer Spaniels. 


The good news is that although it is unpleasant for both your pet and anyone else living in your home, it is rarely serious and can usually be treated fairly easily.


Symptoms of Canine Atopic Dermatitis


There are a variety of different symptoms associated with canine atopic dermatitis. These include:

  • Itching 

  • Excessive scratching

  • Rubbing on the carpet or ground

  • Greasy skin

  • Flaky skin

  • Hair loss

  • A foul odor from the skin

  • Hot spots – these are raw, inflamed areas that may become infected

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian so that they can be assessed. A physical examination is usually sufficient for your professional to diagnose atopic dermatitis. 


Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis


Your veterinarian will advise you that, where possible, you should try and ensure that your pet avoids the trigger that is causing their allergic reaction. However, actually determining what allergen is affecting your pet isn’t always easy. There are also a variety of different medications that your pet could try. These anti-allergy drugs include antihistamines, steroids, and immunotherapy. These all work to suppress the immune response that causes the allergy symptoms. 



Cytopoint is a safe, effective and long-lasting treatment that controls itching that occurs due to allergic or atopic dermatitis without the need for strong medications that could potentially have significant side effects. It works in a very similar way to your dog’s own immune system, and the drug travels through your pet’s body to target and neutralize the proteins that tell your dog that they are itchy, blocking them from working. This stops your canine pal from itching, scratching, licking and chewing their skin and enable it to start healing right away. 


Cytopoint starts to work immediately after being administered and provides up to 8 weeks of relief from severe itching. This gives your dog’s skin enough time to heal, helping them to avoid complications such as hot spots and infection. Cytopoint is administered via injection and this must be carried out in your veterinarian’s office. There are no worries that your furbaby hasn’t received the right dose, or that you haven’t administered it correctly. Everything is taken care of for you. 


We are delighted to now offer our canine patients the benefit of Cytopoint treatment to treat their atopic dermatitis. To find out more about this treatment, or to schedule an appointment for your dog, please contact our veterinary office in St Petersburg FL today.   

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Fourth St.:
(727) 521-3518
Pinellas Pt.:
(727) 906-9400