Matamata Veterinary Services | Latest News

Latest News

Patient: Archie

November 9, 2020

Archie is a lovely young dog who has been diagnosed with atopy. Atopy is defined as a hypersensitivity or immune over-reaction to environmental allergens such as pollen and dust, which we see as itchy skin.

We often suspect atopy based on a patients’ symptoms, but other allergies and food sensitivities can also cause itchy skin, as well as conditions such as parasites and skin infections. It is important for itchy skin to be thoroughly investigated to rule out or treat these conditions.

Archie was always super itchy, even while taking his medication, so he was taken to a specialist dermatologist to help diagnose his atopy and work out what in the environment he was hypersensitive to. The dermatologist performed an intradermal skin test to assess his reactivity to over 50 different things that could be stimulating his immune system (allergens), to work out what in the world made him itch.

With this information, we can avoid exposing Archie to the allergens he is most sensitive to, where possible. Because we can’t avoid everything in the environment, the dermatologist can formulate ‘desensitisation injections’ specifically for Archie. There are given regularly and over time will reduce the over-reaction his immune system has to the allergens, and reduce his itchiness.

Like Archie, many dogs can be itchy due to any number of different things. If your pet itches, there are tests we can perform in-house to rule out complications such as skin infections, as well as prescribing medications to treat or manage the itching. A dermatology referral is another great option available for specialised management of skin disease where needed, this can be discussed with one of our vets.