Atopic dermatitis in dogs – Part 1 Diagnosis
Atopic dermatitis is a common, pruritic, allergic skin disease in dogs. A hereditary predisposition has been described although an interaction of dog and environmental factors is considered important.
Labrador retrievers, West Highland White Terriers, English Setters, Boxers, Yorkshire Terriers and Bulldogs are among breeds thought to be predisposed. Age of onset is typically between 6 months and 3 years and there is no gender predilection. Secondary bacterial and yeast infections are common.
Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs and elimination of differentials. Allergy testing is used to identify allergens for immunotherapy. Signs may wax and wane but frequently worsen with age.
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Mark Craig BVSc CertSAD MRCVS