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Companion Animal Practice
Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: balancing the three factors
  1. Peter Hill

    Peter Hill graduated from Liverpool in 1986, and spent five years in small animal practice before undertaking a residency in veterinary dermatology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. In 1993, he completed a PhD in mast cell biology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, followed by eight years as lecturer and senior lecturer in veterinary dermatology. In 2005, he became senior lecturer in veterinary dermatology at the University of Bristol. He holds the RCVS diploma in veterinary dermatology, and is a diplomate of both the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Dermatology.


THE management of canine atopic dermatitis poses an almost unique challenge to veterinary surgeons in general practice. Although many conditions require lifelong treatment – diabetes mellitus, arthritis, heart disease and chronic renal failure, to name a few – it is rare for there to be so many treatment options and regimens available for one disease. This bewildering array of treatment combinations for atopic dermatitis makes therapeutic decision making extremely difficult. This article presents some guidelines on individualising treatment regimens for this chronic condition, using a strategy the author refers to as ‘balancing the three factors’ – efficacy, risk of side effects and cost.

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