A look through the latest literature: dermatology - Veterinary Practice
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A look through the latest literature: dermatology

What’s new in veterinary dermatology? This summary of the latest academic publications covers this month’s spotlight topic of dermatology

Application of allergen immunotherapy in treating atopic skin disease in cats and dogs

Ralf Müller, University of Munich, Munich, Germany

Canine atopic dermatitis and feline atopic skin syndrome are two frequently seen conditions in small animal practice, and various medications are available for their symptomatic treatment. However, allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently the only treatment that directly addresses the underlying cause. The author describes the principles of classical allergen immunotherapy and new approaches, including rush immunotherapy (in which the lengthy induction phase of treatment is abbreviated), intralymphatic immunotherapy and oromucosal and sublingual immunotherapy. He suggests this form of treatment for atopic skin disease combines a good success rate with a low incidence of short- or long-term adverse effects. It is particularly recommended in young animals with clinical signs induced by environmental allergens.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261, S30-S35

Factors affecting prognosis in canine patients with subcutaneous mast cell tumours

Nathan Cherzan and others, Veterinary Specialty Hospital, San Diego, California

It has previously been claimed that subcutaneous mast cell tumours (SQMCTs) show relatively benign clinical behaviour. However, many veterinary oncologists believe this assumption may be incorrect, with features such as local recurrence after surgery, intramuscular invasion and metastasis to regional lymph nodes indicating the likelihood of a poor prognosis. The authors carried out a retrospective study of the clinical records from 45 dogs with SQMCTs. They identified features that indicate more aggressive biological behaviour than previously reported in 40 percent of these cases. They suggest that veterinary advisors give owners a more cautious assessment during discussions of the patient’s prospects for disease-free intervals and overall survival.

Veterinary Surgery, 52, 531-537

Equine allergic skin disease: clinical consensus guidelines produced by the WAVD

Rosanna Marsella and others, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

Allergic skin diseases are common in horses worldwide, with insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) and environmental allergens responsible for the majority of cases. The World Association for Veterinary Dermatology convened an international panel of experts to review the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of conditions including IBH, atopic dermatitis, food-induced dermatitis and chronic urticaria in horses. Their report highlights the significant gaps in knowledge of the management of a group of diseases that can substantially impact the quality of life for affected animals.

Veterinary Dermatology, 34, 175-208

Back hand palpation as a tool in post-operative wound assessment

Ioannis Proios and others, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

As part of the post-operative assessment following abdominal surgery in cattle, veterinary practitioners have traditionally placed the back of their hand on the wound site to detect signs of inflammation, which could impair wound healing. The authors investigated the accuracy of this method in comparison with a thermographic evaluation using an infrared camera. Used daily for 10 days in 14 cows that had received surgery for left abomasal displacement, they found that the infrared camera gave a much more accurate assessment of temperature changes at the wound site compared to manual palpation. Ambient temperature markedly affected the extent of local hyperthermia.

Irish Veterinary Journal, 74, 16

Spontaneous autoimmune subepidermal blistering diseases in companion animals

Petra Bizikova and others, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA

Autoimmune subepidermal blistering diseases (AISBDs) are rare skin disorders that were first identified in dogs but have been reported in other animals. They occur in different forms, including mucous membrane pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita and bullous pemphigoid, which share common features with homologous human diseases. AISBDs result in autoantibodies targeting structural proteins of the basement membrane zone, producing vesicles, bullae and, later, deep erosions and ulcers. The authors review current knowledge of the histopathology, diagnosis and treatment of the various forms of AISBDs in dogs and other species.

BMC Veterinary Research, 19, 55

Cutaneous mastocytosis in eight young dogs

Ching Yang and others, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Cutaneous mastocytosis is an unusual condition in young dogs, characterised by the multicentric proliferation of neoplastic mast cells. Due to its rarity, there is little published information on the condition except for isolated case reports. The authors review the findings of eight cases that met strict inclusion criteria. The condition was histologically indistinguishable from cutaneous mast cell tumours. Treatments used in these cases included antihistamines, corticosteroids, lokivetmab and toceranib. Six dogs were alive at a median follow-up period of 898 days, while two patients were euthanised.

Veterinary Pathology 

Pulse-dose treatment of cutaneous protothecosis with oral itraconazole

Vanessa Cunningham Gmyterco and others, The Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Paraná, Brazil

Protothecosis is a localised or disseminated condition caused by unicellular yeast-like microalgae of the genus Prototheca. These organisms are ubiquitous in wet organic nutrient-rich environments and may cause disease when swallowed or after entering through minor skin lesions. The authors describe a case in an 18-month-old mixed-breed, intact female dog that had been in contact with sewage-contaminated water. Yeast-like organisms were identified in cultures from inflamed cutaneous lesions on its digital pads. After unsuccessful treatment with terbinafine for three months, treatment was switched to itraconazole, given in pulse doses of 20mg/kg for two consecutive days a week over three months, and the lesions resolved.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 64, 7

Cold atmospheric plasma in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma

Andre Holanda, Federal Rural University, Mossoro, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Studies involving cold atmospheric plasma (CAP), a partially ionised gas, are seen as a promising area of biomedical research, with potential applications in cancer treatment, wound healing and disinfection. The authors investigated this approach for treating squamous cell carcinoma, one of the most common skin and oral tumours in cats. CAP was shown to have anticancer effects in an in vitro study involving a cancer cell line. Meanwhile, in a single cat with three separate SCC tumours, treatment was effective against two of the lesions. There was even evidence of biological changes with increased expression of apoptosis biomarkers in the one clinically unaffected tumour.

Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 53-54, 100773

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