While we all know dogs love a good scratch behind the ears, there is nothing worse than watching your dog scratch, lick, chew and rub at a patch of skin. Our usual immediate concern is fleas. But what if it is something more serious?
Dr Lisa Chimes, from hit TV show Bondi Vet, is launching a Dog Allergy and Atopic Dermatitis Awareness education campaign in a bid to raise awareness of the conditions with dog owners and educate them on how to easily manage possible allergies and the allergic skin condition.
“Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition resulting from hypersensitivity to environmental allergens like pollen, dust mites and mould; and just like hay fever or eczema in humans, it is a lifelong condition. It cannot be ‘cured’. This is why it is of crucial importance for dog owners to identify allergy triggers and learn how to manage their dog’s condition,” said Dr Lisa.
“Dogs suffering from atopic dermatitis will develop dry itchy skin and then scratch and lick for as long as they are exposed to the allergen or until they receive treatment. Because of the constant itching & discomfort due to the allergy, these dogs are regularly unhappy and depressed. Until the condition is identified, it can be quite a confusing and concerning time for dog owners.”
“Dog owners can undertake a number of activities in the home to help reduce their dog’s exposure to possible allergen sources and to manage their dog’s condition,” Dr Lisa continues.
“At home you can:
- Regularly shampoo your dog to help remove possible allergens from their coat
- Feed your dog quality dog food, rich in essential fats and nutrients
- Wash your dog’s bedding and other related soft furnishings regularly
- Vacuum regularly
“But most of all, it is really important for dog owners whose dogs are constantly scratching to go talk to their vet. Your vet will be able to identify any allergic conditions present and help provide both short and long term relief and treatment.”
For more information on atopic dermatitis in dogs and how to manage this condition, visit www.itchfreepet.com.