Vet360 Vet360 Vol 05 Issue 04 - Page 15

DERMATOLOGY Shaping the future of animal health The Use of Allergy Serology and Allergen Specific Immunotherapy (ASIT) in the Management of Canine Atopic Dermatitis Dr Rick Last (BVSc; M.Med.Vet (Path); MRCVS) Specialist Veterinary Pathologist At the outset it is important to remember that allergy serology is not a diagnostic test used for the confirmation of a diagnosis of canine atopic dermatitis (CAD). Diagnosis of atopy is based on meeting specific historical and clinical criteria (Favrot’s criteria) and ruling out other possible causes of similar dermatological and clinical signs. Strict control of ectoparasites, exclusion of bacterial and/or fungal dermatitis and ruling out cutaneous lymphoma, running of elimination diet trials and/or performing the food reaction test (FRT) forms part of the clinical workup of any atopic patient. In an animal with these historical and clinical criteria, the presence of allergen specific IgE is considered highly significant. Only once the clinical diagnosis of canine atopic dermatitis has been made, is allergy serology considered and then only as a test to identify potential triggering allergens to include in an allergen specific immunotherapy vaccine. The first detailed description on the use of allergen specific immunotherapy in dogs, was described by Wittich in 1941. He demonstrated allergic sensitization to ragweed pollen and response to allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT). So ASIT has been known as a therapeutic tool for canine atopic dermatitis for over 75 years and has become an important and foundational treatment for atopic dermatitis in dogs, cats and horses. There are a growing number of studies that have documented the effectiveness of ASIT in allergic disease in animals. It remains currently the only therapy that can modify, or reverse part of the pathogenesis of CAD, both alleviating clinical signs and preventing progression of the condition. In addition, ASIT has minimal adverse effects with lifelong treatment and provides the possibility for long-lasting effectiveness. The International Committee for Allergic Diseases of Animals co-ordinates and reviews scientific and clinical research into the following areas of atopic dermatitis • Pathogenesis. Issue 04 | SEPTEMBER 2018 | 15