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About Dog Skin Problems And Allergy Causes

Atopic dermatitis, atopy and canine dermatitis are names for skin conditions in dogs, often affecting dogs with allergies to airborne allergens. Pollen, dust mites, trees, weeds, mould spores, food, even people dander can all cause dog skin problems. Tiny allergen creating creatures live in all of our houses, in carpets, beds and other soft furnishings. They feed on dog skin scales that are constantly falling from people and animals then litter our environments with hard to see fecal pellets of half-digested food and enzymes. It is these minute particles that contain the problem causing allergens.
Dogs often respond differently to area allergens than people do. For instance, people react to troublesome allergens with sneezing and congestion, but, canine allergies often result in itchy dog skin, ears and paws that can lead to secondary health issues.
ear problems and dog skin allergies are often caused by outdoor allergens, atopica and other meds are often prescribed to treat the resulting skin conditions

Atopica & Canine Dermatitis Dog Skin Condition Treatments

Canine atopic dermatitis and other dog skin diseases often show themselves in the first two years of a dog's life. Symptoms of dog skin allergies include rashes, very itchy skin, scratching constantly, rubbing the face often and/or frequently licking and chewing on their paws. Sometimes allergies will lead to sore swollen red ears that are hot to the touch, and/or frequent ear, bacterial and yeast infections may occur. These problems can cause pain and suffering for your dog and be expensive to treat too. But a little prevention now can save a lot of pain and money later.
Canine atopy is diagnosed using different methods, including ruling out other issues with similar signs such as lice, flea infestation or sarcoptic mange. Food allergies can also cause similar skin problems and can exist concurrently or separate from allergies to airborne particles. Veterinarians often try food allergy tests first and a change in diet before proceeding further. We personally had success with merely changing foods based on food allergy testing.
Sensitivity testing can also be done - allergens are injected under the skin to see whether there is a reaction to the potential allergen. Once diagnosed, there are several dog allergy treatment options available, including Atopica.
One canine skin allergy in dog treatment option is oral medications. In the past, steroid meds such as prednisone and dexamethasone have been used to treat atopic dermatitis, however, Corticosteroids are usually given on a short term or limited basis as steroids often have long term side effects and can interfere with the dog's immune system and ability to fight infection. Recently, an oral form of cyclosporine known as atopica, from Novartis, has been released in hopes of treating dog skin allergy issues without long term side effects of previously used medications.
Atopica is usually given once a day in the beginning and eventually tapered off to a schedule of every other day or less. The most common side effect seen with cyclosporine is an upset stomach which may manifest itself through a loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea. In this case the dosage is usually reduced, however, the upset stomach issues usually resolve themselves after a week or two and the dog can then proceed with the recommended meds dose.
Another treatment option sometimes recommended for dog skin conditions by veterinarians is a hyposensitising vaccine, what we might call allergy shots formulated to your pet's specific needs. A vaccine is created focused on your dog's specific allergen sensitivities. The vaccine is injected into the dog beginning with a very small dose and then gradually increasing the dose. The goal is for the dog's body to slowly get used to these allergens to where it will stop reacting adversely to them. The down side to allergy shots is that they can be very expensive and that they have to be given somewhat often in the beginning, sometimes every day. Many pet owners do not like the idea of having to give their dog a shot themselves and/or it can be difficult to take their buddy into the veterinarian every day. In addition, they can take up to 9 months to start to show any real benefits and only about 60% of dogs treated will show results.
In certain cases, your dog's veterinarian may recommend shampoos like Relief and badly infected dog skin problems may need antibiotics and washing as often as twice a week until conditions improve. Other oral med treatments such as antihistamines, antibiotics and/or cortisone tablets may also be recommended as atopic treatment options.
In general, treatment of canine dog skin allergy issues is more a matter of controlling the symptoms than actually curing the cause. There can be set backs along the way and it will probably take some trial and error on different treatment methods to determine what pet medications and treatment plans will work best for your specific canine.
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related canine pet medications
Canine Dermatitis Meds
For dermatitis skin conditions
Please visit our profile page on Atopica pet medications for more info on choosing between brand names and a generic pet drug
For swelling and inflammation
Steroid related meds can have serious side effects so it will be important to follow your dogs veterinarian's advice in detail
For allergy related skin problems
Antihistamines are prescribed to stop dog skin conditions caused by allergies before they have a chance to cause skin problems
Combination Medication
A steroid med with antihistamine
Ear And Other Medications
Please see our complete index covering over 1200 meds to find low prices on other pet drugs your pets doctor might prescribe for dog skin allergy conditions.
Secondary Skin Disease Related Topics, Information And Medicines:   Pet Allergy Relief Products & Information Pet Ear Care and Related Medicines
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