- Cause : inherited predisposition to develop hypersensitivity-mediated skin disease against environmental allergens.
- Signs : pruritic skin disease (may be seasonal), recurrent skin and ear infections.
- Diagnosis : suggestive history, compatible clinical signs and exclusion of other pruritic skin diseases.
- Treatment : desensitization or symptomatic management.
- Prognosis : guarded - problems likely to persist lifelong.
Print off the owner factsheet on Atopy to give to your client.
- Diagnosis is clinical and by exclusion of other pruritic skin diseases.
- (Fig. 1).
- (Fig. 2).
- (Fig. 3).
- (Fig. 4).
- Pinnal erythema.
- (Fig. 5).
- Chronic or chronically relapsing dermatitis.
- Salivary staining of coat.
- (Fig. 6).
- Lichenification (Fig. 5, above).
- (Figs. 7-8)
- Contact hypersensitivity .
- Intestinal parasite hypersensitivity.
- Good if seasonally affected; 90% can be satisfactorily controlled.
- Many develop multiple allergies over succeeding years → increased difficulty in control.
- Cost and time implications for owners of severely affected dogs may lead to requests for euthanasia.
Reasons for treatment failure
- Failure to diagnose concurrent disease, eg flea allergy, food sensitivity.
- Many cases become less responsive to glucocorticoids with the passage of time - frequently due to a failure to manage concurrent disease.
- Inability of client to cope with treatment schedules.