Canine Allergy

CANINE ATOPIC DERMATITIS

 

Allergic skin disease is believed to affect 10-30% of the canine population,1,2 is reported as the third most common disorder of canine health conditions3 and was found to represent up to 58% of dogs affected with skin disease coming into practice.4

 

Canine atopic dermatitis is caused by an allergic response to environmental allergens, leading to the display of allergy symptoms in the dog. The diagnosis of this condition is reliant on ruling out other possible causes of the clinical signs. Once the diagnosis is made, environmental serological allergy testing can be used to identify the allergens involved. Avacta offers a range of suitable tests to meet this need: Avacta Allergy+TM Complete Environmental & Food or Avacta Allergy+TM Environmental test. The results of these tests can then aid in allergen avoidance, or at least reduction in allergen exposure, and go on to enable specific desensitisation through allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT). More information on these tests can be found on our canine tests page.

WHWT with elizabethan collar

There are a number of breeds found to be at an increased risk of atopic dermatitis, including :

Basset Hound, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Bull Mastiff, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Cairn Terrier, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Fox Terrier, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Hungarian Vizsla, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Lhasa Apso, Newfoundland, Pug, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Schnauzer, Shar-Pei, Springer Spaniel, Staffordshire Terrier, Tibetan Terrier and West Highland White Terrier5,6

 

The peak age of onset for canine atopic dermatitis is between 1-3 years and it is unlikely to occur after 7 years of age. Significant breed variation exists for both the clinical presentation and age of onset.7

There are a number of breeds found to be at an increased risk of atopic dermatitis, including:

Basset Hound, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Bull Mastiff, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Boxer, Cairn Terrier, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Fox Terrier, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Hungarian Vizsla, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Lhasa Apso, Newfoundland, Pug, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Schnauzer, Shar-Pei, Springer Spaniel, Staffordshire Terrier, Tibetan Terrier and West Highland White Terrier5,6

 

The peak age of onset for canine atopic dermatitis is between 1-3 years and it is unlikely to occur after 7 years of age. Significant breed variation exists for both the clinical presentation and age of onset.7

Dogs with canine atopic dermatitis present with a range of clinical signs including;

 

  • Pruritis
  • Erythema
  • Otitis externa
  • Recurrent bacterial or yeast infections

 

There are many steps to follow in order to reach a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis – please see our work-up chart in our Practice Portal for more information. Favrot’s diagnostic criteria can also aid in this process; it is a well-accepted method to follow, when working up cases of canine atopic dermatitis.

Dogs with canine atopic dermatitis present with a range of clinical signs including;

 

  • Pruritis
  • Erythema
  • Otitis externa
  • Recurrent bacterial or yeast infections

 

There are many steps to follow in order to reach a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis – please see our work-up chart in our Practice Portal for more information. Favrot’s diagnostic criteria can also aid in this process; it is a well-accepted method to follow, when working up cases of canine atopic dermatitis.

Favrot’s diagnostic criteria

Using Favrot’s diagnostic criteria, if five of the following criteria are met, the sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis is 85% and 79% respectively4:

  1. <3 years of age
  2. Living mostly indoors
  3. Steroid responsive pruritis
  4. Pruritis seen prior to lesions seen
  5. Affected front feet
  6. Affected ear pinnae
  7. Ear margins not affected
  8. Dorso-lumbar area not affected

References

  1. Marsella R and De Benedetto A. Atopic dermatitis in Animals and People: An Update and Comparative Review. Veterinary Sciences 2017; 4:37.
  2. Hillier A, Griffin CE. The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (I): incidence and prevalence. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2001;81(3–4):147–51.
  3. Llewellyn-Zaidi AM, Evans KM, O’Neill DG et al. Large-scale survey to estimate the prevalence of disorders for 192 kennels club registered breeds. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 2017; 4:8.
  4. Saridomichelakis MN and Olivry T (2016). An update on the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis. The Veterinary Journal; 207: 29–37.
  5. Mazrier H , Vogelnest LJ, Thomson PC et al. Canine atopic dermatitis: breed risk in Australia and evidence for a susceptible clade. Vet Dermatol. 2016; 27: 167-e42.
  6. Nuttall T, Uri M and Halliwell REW. Canine atopic dermatitis – what have we learned? Veterinary Record 2013; 23: 201-7.
  7. Hensel P, Santoro D, Favrot C et al. Canine atopic dermatitis: detailed guidelines for diagnosis and allergen identification. BMC Vet Res. 2015; 11:196.
  8. Favrot C, Steffan J, Seewald W. et al. A prospective study on the clinical features of chronic canine atopic dermatitis and its diagnosis. Vet Dermatology 2010; 21:23-31.