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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