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Atopic dermatitis in dogs


Animal diseases

Atopic dermatitis in dogs

Atopic dermatitis in dogs is a skin disease that consists of swelling and irritation, usually caused by an allergen. It is a multifactorial pathology and, currently, there is no pharmacological cure.

Today,Canine atopic dermatitis is the main skin problem presented by dogs that visit veterinary clinics. However, even the causes are not yet well defined. Therefore, it seems that in each animal, the disease develops in a different way.

Why does atopic dermatitis occur in dogs?

Atopic dermatitis in dogs seems to be mediated by internal factors, or intrinsic to the animal itself, and by external or extrinsic factors.. The sum of these variants and the different pressure that each of the factors can exert, will cause the disease to manifest itself to a greater or lesser degree.

Intrinsic factors

The breed plays a fundamental role in the development or not of atopic dermatitis in dogs.For example, it is known that beagles possess a recessive allele for a gene that results in an overproduction of IgE or immunoglobulin E.

Immunoglobulin E is a protein belonging to the immune system that has a key role in the management of allergens.This immunoglobulin can increase the immune response to allergens and triggers an allergic reaction. Further,there are cell types that are involved in the reaction:

  • Langerhans cells and dendritic skin cells: they are responsible for capturing the allergen.
  • Mast cells: mediate inflammation.
  • B cells: create antibodies.
  • Cooperating cells: produce substances that activate B cells.

Also, in the development of canine atopic dermatitis,a set of substances that relate to the inflammatory process have an important role:

Finally, it seems thatboth in atopic dermatitis in dogs and in humans, there is an alteration of the lipid barrier of the footl.

Extrinsic factors

According to the various studies,It is considered that the most responsible for the development of canine atopic dermatitis are environmental allergens:

Some research has determined thatdust mites are the allergens that cause more atopic dermatitis, both in the United States and in Europe.

On the other hand, it seems that those dogs with atopic dermatitis are more likely to suffer from allergic dermatitis to flea bites. Plus,dogs that suffer from the disease usually suffer from secondary staph infections andMalassezia.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs

To determine if a dog suffers or not this pathology, many symptoms must occur simultaneously. In addition to other important criteria. The possible symptoms of atopic dermatitis in dogs are many and varied:

  • Itching or itching
  • Affected face and / or fingers
  • Thickening of the skin of the inside or outside of the leg
  • Episodes of recurrent or chronic dermatitis
  • High levels of IgG
  • High levels of IgE
  • InfectionMalassezia
  • Otitis externa in both ears on a regular basis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Reddened face skin
  • Dry skin

However, there are specific tests, although expensive, to know what a dog is allergic to. In this way, we can avoid the allergen, as much as possible and, thus, prevent the animal from suffering more outbreaks.

On the other hand, With the help of a veterinarian we can rule out what substances cause damage to the dog and eliminate them from their routine. This process is longer and more complicated. In addition, you always start with a change in the dog’s diet and the use of hypoallergenic feed.

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