Atopic dermatitis can be a lifelong condition that is often incurable. But there are many ways to treat symptoms and lessen your dog’s allergic response. Treatments are often done in combinations to strengthen their results, such as a mainstay treatment with supportive treatments.
- The main goal when treating CAD should be to stop itching quickly and safely in order to minimize the damage to the skin and improve the patient’s quality of life.
- To control acute exacerbations in the first active phase of pruritus treatment, which consists of two stages; Drugs with active ingredients such as corticosteroids, oclacitinib, lokivetmab are used. In proactive pruritus treatment, it is aimed to prevent exacerbations and prolong the itch-free period with maintenance treatment.
Treatment will depend on what is causing your pet’s allergic reaction. If the reaction is due to atopy, genetic predisposition to allergic reaction, for example hyposensitization therapy can be applied. Your vet will give your pet injections of allergens to which they are sensitive. This reduces itching in 60-80% of dogs, but it can take approximately 6 months to a year to see an improvement.
Your veterinarian may recommend anti-itch medications. They are available either as a daily pill (Apoquel) or as an injection (Cytopoint) given every 4-10 weeks. In addition, antibiotics or antifungal medications are often needed to treat skin infections caused by allergies.
Additionally, regular bathing with a medicated or prescription-strength shampoo can greatly improve your pet’s comfort and help skin infections heal faster. Shampoo and other topical treatments can also be used as maintenance therapy to reduce the risk or severity of future skin infections.
immunotherapy It is the only treatment that can cause alleviation of symptoms and, in rare cases, can possibly cure the allergy. This includes multiple injections or drops with increased allergen levels to increase the immune system’s tolerance to that allergen. This treatment seems to work best for dogs with seasonal atopic dermatitis. In very rare cases, anaphylaxis may occur.
cyclosporine, It is a drug most commonly used in organ transplants to prevent rejection. For those with allergies, it can help modulate the immune system. As an immunosuppressive agent, cyclosporine inhibits the activations of immune cells, halting the allergic response that causes symptoms. Side effects of this drug may include diarrhea and vomiting.
Corticosteroids:Systemic glucocorticoid therapy in atopic dermatitis in dogs reduces the number of inflammatory cells. In addition, glucocorticoid therapy reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that effectively control both acute and chronic cutaneous inflammation and pruritus. Long-acting cortisone treatment applied in the form of depots in dogs is not recommended due to the risk of Cushing’s, Diabetes, and Liver diseases.
Oclacitinib: It is a drug that inhibits the cytokine interleukin (IL)-31, which causes itching in dogs. In active treatment in dogs with atopy, it is used orally twice a day for 14 days to reduce skin lesions and itching.
Lokivetmab:Lokivetmab is administered at a dose of 2.0 mg/kg by subcutaneous injection to dogs with atopic dermatitis and has efficacy expected to last at least one month. The advantages of this drug compared to other antipruritic agents are its rapid onset of action, less frequent dosing, no age restriction, and compatibility with other drugs.
If a specific allergen has been identified, the best way to prevent an atopic reaction is to avoid or limit exposure.
Controlling atopy itch can be done in several ways. Antipruritic medications such as otic corticosteroids, topical hydrocortisone or triamcinolone sprays, or oral steroids may be prescribed for ear infections. Omega essential fatty acids may also be recommended, as may oral antihistamines.
Bathing not only fights itching, it also improves the skin barrier, allowing fewer allergens to get in. Use shampoos and leave in conditioners that contain antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-itch, and ceramides.
Treatment should also include treatment of secondary conditions such as microbial and bacterial infections. For this reason, antibiotics or antifungal medications may be prescribed.
Control of Atopy in Dogs
Unfortunately, atopic dermatitis rarely goes into remission or resolves on its own. Once treatment has begun, your veterinarian should see your dog every 2 to 8 weeks to determine the effectiveness of the treatment and to check for drug interactions.
Then, as your pet’s itch becomes more controlled, he or she will need to be brought to the veterinarian’s office for checkups every 3-12 months. It is very important to stay vigilant and have your dog treated at the first sign of itching.
If left untreated, allergies can change a dog’s personality – constant itching and frustration can cause dogs to withdraw from people or become aggressive when touched. This is especially true for dogs who have ear infections as part of their allergy symptoms. Chronic ear infections can also lead to deafness.
If your veterinarian finds the trigger for your pet’s allergies, they will advise you on how best to avoid such allergens.