Paying attention to atopy

By Connie Orcutt • Published: June 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

If your pooch is scratching like crazy, fleas are just one possible cause. Another is atopy (ATT-uh-pee), an allergy to particles, or allergens, that are absorbed into the skin or inhaled. Atopy often starts as a seasonal syndrome then becomes a year-round torment for dogs.

Your 4-legged friend might be rubbing its face, licking its paws and looking like it has a cold. Often a dog’s belly and ears are itchy and inflamed too. Constant scratching can lead to sores then bacterial infections, and chronically affected skin gets thick, dark and greasy. All along the way, your little mutt is miserable.

Ten percent of dogs suffer from atopy, reacting to allergens like pollen, mold or dust mites. If your pooch is locked into an itch-scratch cycle, contact your veterinarian who can help identify the offending allergen and set up a treatment plan.