ISSN 2398-2942      

Therapeutics: allergy management


Synonym(s): Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD); Cutaneous adverse food reactions

Threshold of pruritus

  • A given individual can tolerate a variety of stimuli without developing clinical signs as long as the threshold is not reached.
  • All these stimuli have an additive effect and once the threshold is reached itching occurs.
  • Pruritic threshold varies from individual to individual and can be lowered by stress.
  • Allergic dogs often present with combination of allergies and secondary microbial dysbiosis and skin infections, eg Malassezia dermatitis and superficial pyoderma.
  • Hypersensitivity to the associated microflora, such as Malassezia, is a proven further confounding issue.
  • A percentage of dogs with environmental allergies may also have a component of dietary intolerance contributing to their pruritus.
  • Identification and control of concurrent allergies and secondary infections is crucial in the management of dogs with chronic allergies.

Principles of therapy

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Treatment of acute flares of canine AD

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Treatment of chronic canine AD

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Olivry T, Banovic F (2019) Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: time to revise our strategy? Vet Dermatol 30, 87-90 PubMed
  • Souza C P, Rosychuk R A W, Contrera E T, Schissler J R, Simpson A C (2018) A retrospective analysis of the use iof lokivetmeb in the management of allergic pruritus in a referral population of 135 dogs in the western USA. Vet Dermatol 29, 489- e164 PubMed.
  • Little P R, King V L, Davis K R, Cosgrove S B, Stegemann M R (2015) A blinded, randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of oclacitinib and ciclosporin for the control of atopic dermatitis in client-owned dogs. Vet Dermatol 26, 23-30; e7-8 PubMed
  • Noli C, della Valle M F, Miolo A, Medori C, Schievano C (The Skinalia Clinical Research Group) (2015) Efficacy of ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide in canine atopic dermatitis: an open-label multi-centre study. Vet Dermatol 26, 432-e101 PubMed.  
  • Olivry T, De Boer D J, Favrot C, Jackson H, Mueller R S, Nuttall T, Prelaud P (2015) Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: 2015 updated guideline from the International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals (ICADA). BMC Vet Res 11, 210 PubMed
  • Olivry T, Mueller R S, Prélaud P (2015) Critically appraised topic on adverse food reactions of companion animals (1): duration of elimination diets. BMC Vet Res 11, 225 PubMed
  • Gadeyne C, Little P, King V L, Edwards N, Davis K, Stegemann M R (2014) Efficacy of oclacitinib (Apoquel®) compared with prednisolone for the control of pruritus and clinical signs associated with allergic dermatitis in client-owned dogs in Australia. Vet Dermatol 25, 512-518. e86 PubMed
  • Hardy J I, Hendricks A, Loeffler A, Chang Y M, Verheyen K L, Garden O A et al (2014) Foodspecific serum IgE and IgG reactivity in dogs with and without skin disease: lack of correlation between laboratories. Vet Dermatol 25, 447-e70 PubMed
  • Hibberson C E, Vogelnest L J (2014) Storage mite contamination of commercial dry dog food in south-eastern Australia. Aust Vet J 92, 219-224 PubMed
  • Hillier A, Lloyd D H, Weese J S, Blondeau J M, Boothe D, Breitschwerdt E et al (2014) Guidelines for the diagnosis and antimicrobial therapy of canine superficial bacterial folliculitis (Antimicrobial Guidelines Working Group of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases).Vet Dermatol 25, 163-175 e42-3 PubMed
  • Hobi S, Mueller R S (2014) Efficacy and safety of rush immunotherapy with alumprecipitated allergens in canine atopic dermatitis. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 42, 167-173 PubMed
  • Litzlbauer P, Weber K, Mueller R S (2014) Oral and subcutaneous therapy of canine atopic dermatitis with recombinant feline interferon omega. Cytokine 66, 54-59 PubMed
  • Maina E, Galzerano M, Noli C (2014) Perianal pruritus in dogs with skin disease. Vet Dermatol 25, 204-209; e51–2 PubMed
  • Beco L, Guaguere E, Lorente Mendez C, Noli C, Nuttall T, Vroom M (2013) Suggested guidelines for using systemic antimicrobials in bacterial skin infections: part 2— antimicrobial choice, treatment regimens and compliance. Vet Rec 172, 156-160 PubMed
  • Carlotti D N, Gribeauval C, Costargent F A, Ganiayre J, Viaud S E (2013) A retrospective survey of the results of allergen-specific immunotherapy in 205 atopic dogs in Aquitaine, France (1989–2001). Prat Méd Chir Anim Comp 48, 41-47. 
  • Cosgrove S B, Wren J A, Cleaver D M, Martin D D, Walsh K F, Harfst J A et al (2013) Efficacy and safety of oclacitinib for the control of pruritus and associated skin lesions in dogs with canine allergic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 24, 479-e114 PubMed
  • Cosgrove S B, Wren J A, Cleaver D M, Walsh K F, Follis S I, King V I et al (2013) A blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy and safety of the Janus kinase inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel(R)) in client-owned dogs with atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 24, 587-597. e141-142 PubMed
  • Dip R, Carmichael J, Letellier I, Strehlau G, Roberts E, Bensignor E et al (2013) Concurrent short-term use of prednisolone with cyclosporine A accelerates pruritus reduction and improvement in clinical scoring in dogs with atopic dermatitis. BMC Vet Res 9, 173 PubMed
  • Marsella R, Genovese D, Gilmer L, Ahrens K, Gatto H, Navarro C (2013) Investigations on the effects of a topical ceramides-containing emulsion (Allerderm Spot-on®) on clinical signs and skin barrier function in dogs with atopic dermatitis: a doubleblinded randomized controlled study. Intern J Appl Res Vet Med 11, 110-116. 
  • Berger D J, Lewis T P, Schick A E, Stone R T (2012) Comparison of once-daily versus twiceweekly terbinafine administration for the treatment of canine Malassezia dermatitis-a pilot study. Vet Dermatol 23, 418-e79 PubMed
  • Bethlehem S, Bexley J, Mueller R S (2012) Patch testing and allergen-specific serum IgE and IgG antibodies in the diagnosis of canine adverse food reactions. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 145, 582-589 PubMed
  • DeBoer D J, Morris M (2012) Multicentre open trial demonstrates efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 23 Suppl 1:65 (abstract).
  • Lourenço-Martins A M, São-Braz B, Schmidt V, Rème C A, Nuttall T J (2012) Long-term maintenance therapy of canine atopic dermatitis with a 0.0584 % hydrocortisone aceponate spray (Cortavance) used on two consecutive days each week. Vet Dermatol 23, Suppl 1:39 (abstract).
  • Nam E H, Park S H, Jung J Y, Han S H, Young H Y, Chae J S et al (2012) Evaluation of the effect of a 0.0584 % hydrocortisone aceponate spray on clinical signs and skin barrier function in dogs with atopic dermatitis. J Vet Sci 13, 187-191 PubMed
  • Nuttall T J, McEwan N A, Bensignor E, Cornegliani L, Lowenstein C, Reme C A (2012) Comparable efficacy of a topical 0.0584 % hydrocortisone aceponate spray and oral ciclosporin in treating canine atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 23, 4-10; e1-2 PubMed
  • Cadot P, Hensel P, Bensignor E, Hadjaje C, Marignac G, Beco L et al (2011) Masitinib decreases signs of canine atopic dermatitis: a multicentre, randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial. Vet Dermatol 22, 554-564 PubMed
  • Gill C, McEwan N, McGarry J, Nuttall T (2011) House dust and storage mite contamination of dry dog food stored in open bags and sealed boxes in 10 domestic households. Vet Dermatol 22, 162-172 PubMed
  • Popa I, Pin D, Remoue N, Osta B, Callejon S, Videmont E et al (2011) Analysis of epidermal lipids in normal and atopic dogs, before and after administration of an oral omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid feed supplement. A pilot study. Vet Res Commun 35, 501–509 PubMed
  • DeBoer D, Verbrugge M, Morris M (2010) Clinical and serological response of dust mitesensitive dogs with atopic dermatitis to sublingual immunotherapy. Allergo J 19, 317 (abstract).
  • Taszkun I (2010) The evaluation of Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index (CADESI) test in dogs with atopic dermatitis (AD) treated with cyclosporine or prednisone. Pol J Vet Sci 13, 681-688 PubMed.
  • Olivry T, DeBoer D J, Prélaud P, Bensignor E (2007) Food for thought: pondering the relationship between canine atopic dermatitis and cutaneous adverse food reactions. Vet Dermatol 18, 390 PubMed
  • Steffan J, Favrot C, Mueller R (2006) A systematic review and meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of cyclosporin for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs. Vet Dermatol 17, 3-16  PubMed.
  • Farver K, Morris D O, Schofer F, Esch B (2005) Humoral measurement of type-1 hypersensitivity reactions to a commercial Malassezia allergen. Vet Dermatol 16 (4), 261-268 PubMed
  • Bensignor E & Olivry T, (2005) Treatment of localized lesions of canine atopic dermatitis with tacrolimus ointment: a blinded, randomized, controlled trial. Vet Dermatol 16, 52-60 PubMed
  • Swinnen C, Vroom M (2004) The clinical effect of environmental control of house dust mites in 60 house dust mite-sensitive dogs. Vet Dermatol 15, 31-36 PubMed.
  • Pinchbeck L R, Hillier A, Kowalski J J, Kwochka K W (2002) Comparison of pulse administration versus once daily administration of itraconazole for the treatment of Malassezia pachydermatis dermatitis and otitis in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 220, 1807-1812 PubMed.   

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