Jennifer Schissler Pendergraft, DVM, MS, DACVD, Colorado State University
Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), one of the most common diagnoses in general veterinary practice, is a progressive condition that decreases the quality of life in 10% of companion dogs worldwide.1-4
CAD's most common sign is pruritus, most often affecting the ears, face, ventral neck, distal limbs, and ventrum, as well as the perianal and perivulvar regions. Secondary bacterial and yeast infections are also common. CAD may begin seasonally and progress to nonseasonal pruritus.
CAD is thought to be a polygenetic disorder involving immune dysregulation and epidermal barrier dysfunction.5 The atopic immune response causes increased production of allergen-specific IgE, while barrier dysfunction facilitates transcutaneous allergen and microbe penetration.