Grant #02176-A

Dr. Andrea Lam, DVM
Canine Health Foundation | Tufts University
July 2016-$3,000
February 2018 - $3,000
March 2017 - $3000

Description: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a genetically predisposed inflammatory skin condition affecting approximately 10% of dogs globally and is probably the most prevalent skin disease in all canines. Affected dogs manifest with itchy skin and ears and secondary infections. Clinical features are associated with IgE antibodies produced against indoor/outdoor environmental allergens. Breeds such as Boxers, Terriers, Retrievers, and Bulldogs are predisposed. Current treatment options include antihistamines, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, oclacitinib, and allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), as well as adjunctive topical and antimicrobial therapy. Antihistamines are effective in about 25% of dogs. Corticosteroids are extremely efficacious; however, side effects are common, thus long-term use is strongly discouraged. Cyclosporine is effective in many dogs with few serious adverse effects, but cost can be a limitation in large breed dogs. Oclacitinib has been shown to have good efficacy, but long-term side effects have not been studied. ASIT appears as the only treatment that is able to induce a clinical cure. However, the percentage of atopic dogs that respond to this treatment is only 60-70% and in many, the response is only partial. It has been proposed that efficacy of subcutaneous ASIT is limited by the ability of the skin to stimulate the immune system. This study will test an alternative route of administration using ASIT for this important skin condition. The investigator will test if direct administration of allergens into a peripheral lymph node may be more effective in stimulating an immunologic reaction, and thereby increasing the response rate, and potentially the cure rate, for canine atopic dermatitis