Canine atopic dermatitis: diagnosis and management

Peter J Forsythe
December 2013

Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is a common pruritic skin disease that starts in young dogs. The diagnosis is based on a set of clinical criteria as well as ruling out other pruritic skin diseases. Intradermal and serological testing are used to detect allergens for allergen-specific immunotherapy as well as allergen avoidance, but these should not be used as diagnostic tests. CAD is an incurable disease, and cases that do not respond to diet trials will require lifelong therapy. Nurses can play a valuable role in the diagnosis and long-term management of this problematic condition.

Canine atopic dermatitis: diagnosis and management
Canine atopic dermatitis: diagnosis and management

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