Many owners of West Highland White Terriers with atopic dermatitis or other allergic skin disease are desperate to find help. These dogs can be very expensive to treat constantly with traditional veterinary therapy. Side effects to long term use of corticosteroids are common. A lot of dog owners are turning to other ways to help their itchy dog. There is a minefield of unqualified advice on snake oil solutions and products that do not work.
Atopic Dermatitis is a genetically predisposed inflammatory and pruritic allergic skin disease with characteristic clinical features. It is associated most commonly with IgE antibodies to environmental allergens. Old school thought was that the environmental allergens were inhaled. Recent breakthroughs in understanding the cause of allergic skin disease in West Highland White Terriers include the transdermal entry of environmental allergens. It is now recognised that allergens are ingested, inhaled and that the allergens also cross the skin barrier which is sphingosine deficient in the ceramide layer.
This important concept has opened windows for natural treatment to be of huge benefit. Many of the shampoos that are prescribed for this itchy skin condition are in fact detrimental. Natural shampoo is important because it prevents damage to the ceramide of the outer skin barrier. There are some natural treatments that will help repair the faulty skin barrier as well.
Natural treatment also involves avoiding skin flare factors. It is possible to minimise exposure to dust mites and pollen. It is possible to remove pollen from the skin using natural treatment. This helps alleviate the itch scratch cycle. Natural treatment that minimises water loss from the skin is the present approach for holistic therapy It is important to use the correct therapies or pyoderma of the skin will result.
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