Atopic dermatitis (atopy) is an allergy to something in the environment (such as pollen, moulds, grass or dust mites).
Dogs with atopy tend to have very itchy skin, usually worst on the paws, ears, tummy and armpits. Constant scratching, licking and biting makes their skin red, sore and open to infection.
Treatment for atopy often includes a special diet, medication to stop the itch and skin supplements.
Without treatment, atopy can severely affect a dog’s quality of life but with proper treatment, dogs with atopy can live a long, happy life.
Food allergies and flea allergies cause skin problems with almost identical symptoms to those of atopic dermatitis.