Dermatitis is a very common human skin disorder. However, it is equally as likely to affect our canine companions. Canine dermatitis can be experienced by dogs of all breeds and ages, and whilst some animals will only experience an isolated episode, others will suffer from chronic dermatitis for the duration of their lifetime.
Dermatitis may not sound particularly serious, but it can be very unpleasant for our pets as the symptoms associated with the condition can be frustrating, debilitating and even painful. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help. Here is what you need to know about doggy dermatitis, the effect it will have on your furbaby and what you can do to help.
What is dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a term used to describe a skin irritation that presents with a variety of different symptoms. There are multiple types of dermatitis that can affect dogs, with some more common than others. These include:
Atopic dermatitis. The most common variety, this occurs when your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction to an environmental substance such as pollen, fleas or dust mites.
Lick granuloma. This occurs due to the continuous licking of a specific area. This type of dermatitis nearly always ends up becoming infected due to the bacteria passing from your dog’s mouth into their skin.
Contact dermatitis. As the name suggests, this occurs when your pet’s skin comes into contact with an irritant such as a chemical in a cleaning product.
Sarcoptic mange. This type of dermatitis is actually caused by a parasite called sarcoptes mites. The areas of the body usually affected include the ears, legs, chest, and abdomen.
Hot spots. These areas of the body are caused by bacteria usually found on the skin and when your pet scratches, bites and chews the area, it can cause significant skin irritation.
Symptoms of dermatitis in dogs
The exact symptoms that your pet will display will depend on the type of dermatitis that they have and the severity of their condition. However, most dogs will experience some of the following:
- Extremely itchy skin
- Ear infections
- Rubbing their body against furniture in an effort to find relief from their itching
- Biting or chewing themselves, again to help find relief from the persistent itchiness
- Rashes on the skin
- Hair loss
- Scooting on their bottom
- Excessive grooming
- Dark, thickened skin
- Bacterial skin infections as a result of excessive scratching
- Yeast skin infections
It is usually fairly easy to notice when a dog has dermatitis, meaning that you can seek treatment quickly and before your pet is too badly affected by their condition.
Treatments for dermatitis in dogs
There are various options available when it comes to treating dermatitis in dogs. Again, exactly what will be recommended will depend on the type of dermatitis that your pet has. For example, if your dog has been diagnosed with flea allergy dermatitis, the first step will be to get the flea infestation treated and they covered with an effective preventative. Identifying the cause of any allergic dermatitis is essential so that it can be avoided in the future.
Topical treatments are particularly popular. These are applied directly onto your pet’s skin and could include gels, pastes, lotions, and shampoos. Ear drops may be recommended to treat ear infections, whilst broad-spectrum antibiotics may be needed for generalized skin infections. In some instances, your vet may also recommend medication to suppress your pet’s immune system so that they don’t have such an extreme reaction to an allergen in the future.
Dermatitis treatment with Cytopoint®
Cytopoint® is an innovative and effective injectable treatment that has been shown to provide relief from the main symptom of dermatitis – itching. As we know, persistently itching and scratching the skin will make your pet’s dermatitis worse and put them at risk of more serious skin-based problems such as infection. By getting the itching under control using Cytopoint® , other treatments will have the opportunity to take effect and your pet’s body will have the time needed to heal itself.
The desire to itch is triggered by a protein inside your pet’s body. Cytopoint® works by targeting and neutralizing this protein so that it no longer transmits a signal to tell your dog’s brain that there is an itch that must be scratched. As a result, your pet will be able to stop scratching incessantly.
Cytopoint® injections are only available from licensed veterinarians and must be administered by a professional. The process only takes a few seconds, is virtually painless and provides up to 8 weeks of relief from itching for your pet. In fact, it is so successful that studies have indicated that as many as 87% of owners state that using Cytopoint® has improved their pet’s quality of life.
If you have further questions about dermatitis, or if you would like to find out more about Cytopoint® treatment and how it can provide your dog with much-needed relief from itching, please get in touch with our veterinary care center in Carmel, IN by calling 317-428-2530.