Atopy, also called Atopic Dermatitis or Inhalant Dermatitis is an allergic reaction to a substance that is inhaled, such as dust, dust mites or pollen. Dogs or cats with atopic dermatitis become extremely itchy and will scratch or lick themselves excessively to find relief.
A holistic approach to treating a dog or cat with atopic dermatitis include:
- Identify the source of the allergen (dust, mold, pollen, etc.) and reduce your pets exposure to it.
- Bathe pet weekly with an anti-itch moisturizing shampoo or lotion
- Provide omega fatty acids to reduce inflammation
- Support the immune system
- Feed a high protein, low carb, moderate fat diet.
Symptoms of Atopy in Pets
Dogs and cats may have the following symptoms:
- Licking, scratching or biting of the skin around the face, feet, armpits, and ears.
- Red, scaly, raised areas of the skin
- Head shaking
- Staining of the skin from salivia
- Thickened skin
- Increased skin pigmentation
Natural remedy for cats and dogs with atopy
While many pet owners turn to steroids and antihistamines to help their dogs or cats with skin allergies, supporting your pet's immune system may help reduce the occurence of flareups and allergic responses. A strong immune system clears out allergy response cells like histamines.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the amount and effects of histamines that are released during an allergic response. They help to reduce inflammation and improve your pet's coat quality by creating a protective barrier in the skin to block out irritants and infections . Most dogs and cats respond well to omege 3 fatty acids with noticeable improvement within a month. For more information on fatty acids, visit The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Dogs and Cats.
Food allergies may be present in dogs with atopy and can increase the scratching and itching. Commercial pet foods are often the culprit to a range of health issues, so a good starting point for promoting health and wellness in animals is to feed a high quality diet - one with high protein, low carbohydrate, moderate fat.
The following companies produce high quality pet foods which can be purchased at many local pet shops. Visit their websites to purchase online or locate retailers in your area: