Clinically known as atopy, inhalant allergy is a hypersensitivity to environmental allergens manifested through irritation of the skin and ears. Atopy occurs in 10 to 15 percent of the dog population and tends first to occur when the canine is between one to two years old. Feline atopy can occur at any age. It is not uncommon for animals to have atopy in conjunction with other allergies such as food hypersensitivity and flea allergy dermatitis.
Affected skin is reddened, scaly, and may lose hair. With continued sun exposure thickened skin, red bumps, plaques, and nodules develop which may become ulcerated and crusty.
Lesions occur most commonly on the trunk, the legs, the digits (toe), the scrotum, the lips, the anus, and the nose. The lesions are typically ulcerated or cauliflower-like in appearance, bleed easily and are typically solitary.