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Presenter – Anthony Chadwick BVSc Cert VD, MRCVS, dermatology referral consultant in the north west and founder of ‘The Webinar Vet’.

After attending this year’s ‘World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology’, our very own Anthony Chadwick from ‘The Webinar Vet’ was keen to share some new and exciting advances in the field of veterinary dermatology. To quote Anthony this would be a ‘pot pourri’ of dermatology and  it proved to be an abundant mix of new treatments for the future and some more standard therapies taking a different direction. Of course, a world congress would not be a world congress unless it was held in a glamorous location and judging by Anthony’s enthusiasm, he was not only bowled over by the congress’ content but also lost his heart to its location, Vancouver.

The first ‘little gem’ came from a ‘pre-congress’ day where the drug company ‘Pfizer’ discussed a new mode of therapy for Canine Atopy . The drug in question is Oclatinib, a novel Janus Kinase inhibitor which inhibits part of the complex pathway leading to the clinical signs seen in atopy.  Studies have shown Oclatinib to significantly reduce pruritis in atopic dogs when given pre-treatment at a faster rate and with greater suppressive effect when compared to Prenisolone. This could be a new and exciting step forward in the treatment of canine atopy and hopefully we will hear more in the future.

The pre-congress day also supplied a platform for another company, Novartis, who came up with some further information discussing the use of Atopica alongside steroids. It can take a few weeks for Atopica to become fully effective, and Novartis has been running a study looking at the concurrent use of a reducing dose of steroids alongside Atopica in the early stages of treatment. Although this work has yet to be published, early results are promising and suggest there is a faster response time to treatment.

Allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT) was also a hot topic, and although it’s mode of action is still unclear, the ‘Immune Deviation Theory’ was a hypothesis under discussion at the congress. In atopic dogs, the T-helper 2 cells tend to predominate and in doing so produce a large number of IgE antibodies responsible for causing the release of inflammatory mediators. The ASIT is hypothesised to increase the number of T-helper 1 cells over T-helper 2 cells thereby increasing IgG levels thought to down regulate mast cells, eosinophils and other effector cells responsible for the clinical signs seen in atopy.

Another interesting debate centred around the use of ASIT given sublingually instead of subcutaneously in animals. Medics have started to use sublingual immunotherapy to try to reduce the number of anaphylactic reactions in people. This has proved very successful in humans with positive results comparable to subcutaneous therapy. Sublingual use may become more prominent in the veterinary sector as although it does need to be given daily rather than monthly and is a little more expensive, there have been reports of cases responding well to sublingual therapy where they haven’t responded well to subcutaneous therapy.

Listening to Anthony’s webinar has been a great way of keeping my finger on the pulse of novel, innovative therapies and new concepts in veterinary dermatology. I can now say with confidence that I feel ahead of the game when it comes to dermatology and can ask no more of my veterinary CPD.

The Stethoscope (MRCVS)


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