Tag archives: alopecia

Why is My Dog so Itchy? Part 2: Environmental Allergens and Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Why is My Dog so Itchy? Part 2: Environmental Allergens and Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Click here for Part 1 of this ongoing blog about itchy dogs.

Like people, some dogs are known to develop seasonal summer allergies to a variety of environmental allergens. Pollen, mold, dust mites, and mildew are just a few of the triggers that can make dogs itchy as the days become warmer. Many dogs have only mild signs of allergies that can be controlled by the use of antihistamines and bathing to wash allergens from the hair coat. In these mild cases, the allergies are predictable annually, they don’t seem to progress in severity, and are relatively easy to manage. However, for some dogs, the body’s reaction to allergens is so significant that their overall quality of life can be greatly impaired.

Canine Atopic Dermatitis
An allergic disease now termed “canine atopic dermatitis” (CAD) is a relatively common and troubling condition seen in our canine friends. It is estimated that up to 10% of all dogs are affected by this condition worldwide. First discussed in the 1930’s, the definition of the disorder and our scientific understanding of the cause are still being worked out. Our current understanding is that CAD is a multifactorial disease involving genetic predisposition, immune system dysregulation ...

Breed of the Week: The Jack Russell Terrier

Breed of the Week: The Jack Russell Terrier

Small and as full of energy as they are character, Jack Russell terriers possess intelligence and prey drive that allow them to serve in varied roles – from companion pet to tenacious hunter. The mostly white dog with brown and black markings comes in a trio of coat types – smooth, rough or broken-coated – and sizes, which leads to some confusion.

The standard Jack Russell remains much the same as the original breed that was established in the early 1800s. The Parson Russell terrier, closely related, is more of a conformation dog and has a more defined height of 12-14 inches at the withers (as compared to Jacks that range from 10-15 inches). Another closely related terrier, the Russell terrier or English Jack Russell terrier, is a smaller version, reaching only 8-12 inches in height.

The Jack Russell terrier was originally bred to hunt foxes. Its job was to flush or corner the animal in its den, giving the hunter a chance to kill it. They were later adapted to hunt badger, which required the dog to possess the courage to square-off with a dangerous foe in the confined space of its burrow and tunnels. This tight-spaced hunting helped necessitate the shorter-legged ...