Last evening Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Laidlaw attended a seminar discussing new therapies for treating allergic skin disease in dogs. Treatment of allergies in dogs is generally lifelong and many of the therapies that are currently available have either numerous side effects or limited success. New understanding of how the dog’s skin reacts to allergens in the air has opened the door to possible drug targets that could greatly improve how we manage this disease. We initially thought most allergens in the air are inhaled (through the nose) and that is how they enter the body to cause a reaction. We now know that the skin is a major route of exposure as well. The skin has a normal protective barrier but with allergic disease this barrier does not work as well and more allergens can slip through, creating a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. This is why in some cases we recommend products to help heal that barrier, such as Allerderm. There are some new medications on the horizon that can target some of the pathways in the body involved in itch and inflammation and consequently improve the way we can treat allergies. We’re all very excited about it! They are not yet available in Canada but we are hoping soon and we’ll keep you posted!