Diagnosis of atopy
It is extremely important in the diagnostics of atopic dermatitis to have a systematically prepared clinical history, as well as to adequately record all of the information obtained during the entire process of the examination.
The following aspects are important in the clinical history:
The anamnesis should also include questions regarding the sleeping place (floor covering, pillows, blankets etcetera, in connection with contact dermatitis), the food (food allergy), the presence of other animals (atopy based on animal epithelium) and the vegetation in and around the house. The effect of previously imposed treatments may also produce valuable information.
1 Sousa, et al. Vet Immunol. Path. 81 (2001) 153-157
Skin scrapings microscopic tests, fungal and bacterial cultures must be conducted in order to exclude any ecto-parasitic and infectious causes of the skin problems.
An elimination diet (hypo-allergenic diet, possibly followed by a provocation (challenge) diet, can provide information regarding the likeliness of a food allergy.
Important differential diagnostics for atopic dermatitis are: demodicosis, dermatophytosis, food allergy, idiopathic pododermatitis and trombiculosis (trombiculid mites). If these tests are negative excluded, the probable diagnosis is atopic dermatitis, the next step is to perform an allergy test.