Effectiveness of low dose immunotherapy in the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: a prospective, double-blinded, clinical study

Authors

  • SILVIA COLOMBO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Dermatology Unit, The University of Edinburgh, The Hospital for Small Animals, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK
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  • PETER B. HILL,

    1. Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Dermatology Unit, The University of Edinburgh, The Hospital for Small Animals, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK
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  • DARREN J. SHAW,

    1. Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Dermatology Unit, The University of Edinburgh, The Hospital for Small Animals, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK
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  • KEITH L. THODAY

    1. Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Dermatology Unit, The University of Edinburgh, The Hospital for Small Animals, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland, UK
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  • Information in the text was presented as a free communication at the Fifth World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology, Vienna 2004.

    SC was supported by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association's Petsavers.

Silvia Colombo, Via Fabio Filzi 19, 20025 Legnano, Italy. E-mail: colombo_silvia@yahoo.it

Abstract

Abstract  There are anecdotal reports of increased effectiveness of allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) in dogs with doses of vaccine lower than that recommended by the manufacturers. However, no controlled studies have been carried out. The aim of this prospective, double-blinded study was to evaluate whether induction and maintenance with low dose (LD) ASIT resulted in a different success rate compared with the standard dose (SD). Twenty-seven dogs with confirmed atopic dermatitis were allocated by block randomization to two groups. One group (n = 13) received SD ASIT; the other group (n = 14) received LD ASIT (1/10 of the SD) following the same frequency protocol. Cases were graded at 0, 3, 6 and 9 months for clinical signs using a modified canine atopic dermatitis extent and severity index (mCADESI) and for pruritus using a 0–5 descriptor scale. There were no significant differences between the groups in the pruritus and mCADESI scores (P > 0.155) at the end of the study, and the changes in pruritus (P > 0.920) and mCADESI (P > 0.296) scores from the beginning to the end of the study were similar in both groups. Pruritus scores in both groups did not change during the study (P > 0.052). However, significant reductions in mCADESI scores were seen in both groups (P < 0.032). Six dogs achieved a final pruritus score of 0, six achieved a reduction in pruritus score and 15 did not improve or worsened. There was, therefore, no evidence that LD ASIT is more effective than the standard protocol.

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