Our thinking about the skin disease in dogs currently called AD has undergone immense changes in the past 75 years. First called eczema in dogs by Schnelle1 in 1933, it was later termed canine allergic inhalant dermatitis and then canine atopy. The skin disease associated with atopy in dogs is now referred to as canine AD.
Since the first description of this condition, huge strides have been made in human medicine, particularly in the biomedical sciences, with regard to how the immune system works. Basic scientific knowledge has crossed over into the field of clinical medicine, resulting in
Improved understanding of the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis in dogs has led to more effective treatment plans, including skin barrier repair and new targeted treatments for management of allergy-associated itch and inflammation. The intent of this review article is to provide an update on the etiologic rationale behind current recommendations that emphasize a multimodal approach for the management of atopic dermatitis in dogs. Increasing knowledge of this complex disease process will help direct future treatment options.