March 2016
Peer Reviewed


  • Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is a genetically predisposed inflammatory, pruritic skin disease.
  • Characteristic signs, associated with immunoglobulin (IgE), are most commonly directed against environmental allergens1; however, CAD can be associated with other systemic signs (eg, GI, respiratory).
    • Allergens not associated with environment (primarily food) may trigger dermatitis flare-ups with signs indistinguishable from CAD.
    • Food can induce atopic dermatitis.
  • Atopic-like dermatitis (ALD) is an inflammatory, pruritic skin disease with clinical features identical to those in CAD, in which an IgE response to environmental or other allergens cannot be documented.2
    • ALD, similar to intrinsic atopy in humans, describes patients with clinical features of CAD and no detectable IgE increase.2
    • This definition assumes that IgE is not necessary for clinical manifestations of the disease and that other mechanisms (eg, skin barrier dysfunction) can lead to dermatitis clinically indistinguishable from classic atopic dermatitis.

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