: Starting From Scratch With An Allergic Dog (NAPSA)—If you think humans are the only ones whogetallergies, youre barking up the wrongtree. More than 25 percentof dogs in the United States are estimated to suffer from someform of allergies. Pets have problems with the samealler- gens as humans, and in a strange role reversal, can even beallergic to their owners. But the most commonallergic condition is atopic dermatitis. Seven million U.S. dogs suffer from the condition—a severe, itchy skin disease that results in hypersensitivity to environmental aE Jame pit | ae eg a ag age , ane —s (f) vm More than quarter of all dogs in the United States haveallergies. allergens such as pollen, mold and dust mites. with atopic dermatitis, your vet- your dog has atopic dermatitis, but Modified. It’s the only option approved by the Food and Drug Administration for long-term Your veterinarian can tell if there are also things for you to con- sider. Dr. Tiffany Tapp, veterinary dermatologist at Ocean State Vet- erinary Specialists in East Green- wich, R.I., offers four tips: 1. Know the signs. Atopic dogs groom excessively, licking or chewing their paws, abdomen and hindquarters. Their ears may be red and hot to the touch. Watch for stains from licking or hair loss in the armpits, groin or between the toes of the paws. 2. See your veterinarian. While atopic dermatitis is one of the most commoncanineallergies, dogs can also have allergies to food, vaccines, insect bites or drugs. Your veterinarian can help you determine why your pooch is suffering and suggest ways to alleviate the discomfort. 3. Consider treatment options. If your dog is diagnosed erinarian may prescribe Atopica (Cyclosporine capsules, USP) management of canine atopic dermatitis and blocks the allergic response that causes itching with- out the serious side effects of steroids. Veterinarians also use immunotherapy, or allergy shots, to decrease a pet’s sensitivity to a specific allergen. 4. Control the allergens. Do what you can to reduce the aller- gens in your dog’s world. Use allergen-resistant bedding; keep the humidity low inside your home to minimize dust mites and mold; keep your dog away from unmowed grass, high grass and weeds; and, during peak allergy season, limit outdoor activity in the early morning, when pollen levels are at their highest. For more information, visit www.us.atopica.com. Note to Editor: As with all drugs, side effects may occur. In field study, the most commonside effects were gastrointestinal signs. Gingival hyperplasia and papillomas also may occur during the initial dosing phase. Atopica is not for use in reproducing dogs or dogs with a history of malignant neoplasia. Pet owners should refer to the full product insert at www.us.atopica.com for more information.