Atopy in Dogs
Last Updated: 07/09/2013
Atopy (Atopic Dermatitis) in Dogs
Atopy, also known as
atopic dermatitis, is an inherited
condition in which the affected dog
develops a hypersensitivity to
environmental allergens, such as
pollens, molds, and/or certain
insects like house dust mites.
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most
common skin diseases in the dog and
second most common hypersensitivity
in the cat. Commonly affected breeds
include terriers, golden retrievers,
Labrador retrievers, Lhasa apsos,
and Shih tzu.
Clinical signs most often develop between six months and three years of age, are often distinctly seasonal in the beginning, and commonly involve the ears, distal extremities, and face. Atopy often cannot be distinguished from food allergies without a history of seasonal occurances. Recurrent bacterial skin infections, Malassezia (yeast) skin inflammation, and ear inflammation are often present in allergic dogs.
Common clinical signs and symptoms include: