Doctor Stuart Robson, DMV
Fox Creek Veterinary Hospital
Today we’re going to be talking about Dermatology, so if you notice, I am back with the groomers today. So, we have three awesome groomers her at Fox Creek. We have Dawn, who is right behind me. They’re busy at work so they’re going to keep their head down and keep working. But there’s also Joanna that’s to my right, and there’s also Sam. Every one of them are awesome. I can tell you from experience I have my Golden Retriever and my other dog – I have both of them groomed on a regular basis. I love it. They come home smelling fresh and I’m almost addicted to it a little bit because they come home so clean. The groomers can tell you I kind of take a little bit of advantage of them sometimes because they look so good. So, they do a great job.
The reason that we’re in the back in the grooming area is grooming is actually something that often people forget with dermatology. So, we are talking about dermatology but I did want to, kind of almost give you the analogy of a stool, if you will. There are several different legs to a stool, and each one of those legs if very important in dermatology. One of those legs on that stool is grooming. We can do all kinds of great medications, we can do all kinds of great food and things to treat your pet for dermatology but if we do not take care of the skin on the surface; if we don’t take care of the coat, then all of the other things are really kind of a waste of money. So, I really sit down with people when we have a case of allergies or a skin infection and I explain, try to explain the importance of grooming as a very important component to treating your pet. It’s almost a necessity to take care of that.
There’s a couple of things with grooming that are very important. We’re going to be doing a whole separate video on grooming so I don’t want to get into it too much. But, picking the right shampoo is very, very important. We have a lot of people who come in and say I’m using baby shampoo, or I’m using different types of like, dish soap and different things, which are really not very good at all and neither one of those are something you want to use on your pet. There are shampoos that are soap less that are made specifically for pets. There’s also medicated shampoos that are difficult to kind of wade through all the different options. So, I lean a lot on our groomers. They are very, very good as far as recommending different shampoos. It’s just a really important component.
Having said all of that I do want to talk about dermatology because that’s something that, it’s spring here, or spring is right around the corner here in St. Louis so we’re starting in the season where we see a ton of skin allergies in dogs. We’re in a very moist climate here. There’s a lot of ticks, a lot of fleas, a lot of external parasites. So, we see, I would say probably dermatology is the most common thing that we see here at Fox Creek. It’s a very, very prevalent problem.
There’s almost too much to talk about with dermatology in a short video. There’s just so many different facets, so I’m to hit a just a couple kind of areas, and you know we can go more in depth. I definitely strongly recommend that if you have problems bring your pet in. We can help you. We’re very passionate about treatment dermatology. We see it a lot. We are very up-to-date on the different treatments. So, having said treatments I’m going to start with another leg in the stool and that’s medications that are very important to treating your pet.
I’m just going to break it up into a couple different categories.
The most common form of allergies in dogs is atopic dermatitis and that is something where they are allergic to something in the environment. So, it could be something outside, it could be something inside. And, often, with atopic dermatitis they have a secondary bacterial infection on their skin. So, treating appropriately with something to treat the allergies, but then also treat a topical skin infection is something that we can quickly assess and advise you on.
If you want to pan over to the right a little bit there’s a couple of medications, and this is just a couple of many that we sometimes will choose from. The couple that are in the front – one – Apoquel. There’s also what we call CADI. This is a canine atopic dermatitis immunotherapeutic. This has also been renamed to Cytopoint. These medications are brand new and they are game changers. Apoquel – there’s probably a lot of people watching this video – yep, my dog has tried Apoquel. It is fantastic. It starts working within an hour. Helps stops itching. Treats allergies. It’s unbelievable. It’s really kind of revolutionized treatment in dermatology. So, if your pet has allergies and you haven’t heard about that drug, you need to come in because it is awesome. It is not a steroid. It’s very safe. It works extremely well. Very few side effects. It is a pill form. There’s a couple different doses. We start at a twice a day dosaging and then we can go down to a once a day dosaging on that for maintenance.
CADI, or the canine atopic dermatitis immunotherapeutic, or Cytopoint is probably the better name – that is a new drug that just came out weeks ago. It’s an injection. I’m going to go ahead and just simply explain it’s kind of like an Apoquel injection. It lasts from anywhere from a month to two months in dogs. It works very, very, very well. It’s something where we give one injection at the hospital and then you’re good for a month or sometimes even up to eight weeks. So, that’s another option for you. If you haven’t heard about that it’s something brand new. So, if you’re interested in that call us, come in, we’ll kind of explain a little bit more. There’s a lot of benefits to it. So, we can kind of go through those. We really love those drugs here because they’re effective, for one, you see relief almost immediately with them especially with the Apoquel. The injection takes a little bit longer to see relief, but it kicks in fairly quickly. So, one they work but they’re also really safe.
There’s also another drug that’s called Atopica. That’s Cyclosporine. That’s a drug that’s been out for several years. It also actually works very, very well for allergies. The challenge with Atopica is it takes a lot longer to see response. So, it’s something that you kind of have to be committed to. You have to start it, and then you have to give it at least a month or two to know if it’s really working. So, for that reason, Atopica is kind of gone on the back burner just a little bit because Apoquel works so quickly, but it’s still a really viable option and it’s something that works extremely well in dogs once you get it in their blood stream and you kind of get them set up it. So, that’s another drug that we use. It’s also very safe.
Again, there’s too much information that I can give you right now but if you dog has allergies you can come in, we can explain some of those things. Tell you the benefits and negatives to each one of these things.
Also, I set aside Prednisone. This is a bottle of Prednisone. Prednisone is a steroid. It has all kinds of yucky side effects. It’s something that we will prescribe if we have to. It is very inexpensive and it does work well. However, it suppresses their immune system. There are a lot of side effects. It can cause some problems so it’s something we only go on if we really, really need to. So, that’s something we only hold in case, you know, we kind of hold back on that prescription if we can. That’s something that traditionally veterinarians we’ve kind of gone to that first and because of the side effects I’m not a big fan of steroids. But, in certain cases, there really isn’t anything that works quite as well. So, that’s still a viable option but it’s just something that we reserve just in certain situations.
I also set aside a little bit of food. Food is the other leg of the stool, if you will, the three legged stool that we’re kind of talking about. Don’t forget food. Food is probably over publicized as far as the cause of allergies. It’s only about six to seven percent of the cause of allergies in dogs. So, I know with media and stuff we get just bombarded with a lot of things about grain free diets. You know, different things. But it’s kind of ironic because food allergies are only a very, very small percentage of the cause of allergies. And actually wheat or grains are a really, really small component of that small percentage. They’re actually a lot more likely to be allergic to pork, chicken or beef. Those are the things dogs are most likely allergic to. So, I think some of that is a little bit of a spin and a marketing thing that some over-the-counter food companies have really tried to emphasize with the pet owner. So again, just be informed. Don’t assume because your dog has allergies that it has food allergies because it probably doesn’t. It statistically probably doesn’t.
Derm Defense is a diet that’s not a hypoallergenic diet. But it’s just a diet that actually helps with skin health. It’s really high in omega threes and all kinds of really good stuff that just helps the skin be healthy.
The skin is a barrier. It’s our biggest organ. It’s something that keeps all the bad bacteria and bad stuff out but it also keeps moisture in and when it’s healthy, that barrier is a really good protection for us. So, different diets can really help that. And, some dogs are actually allergic to different things so doing a prescription food trial is something we may also recommend.
As you can see, I’m talking on and on. Allergies is a huge, huge deal there’s a lot to talk about. But come into Fox Creek. We’ll defiantly help you diagnose properly, which is very important. But then we also have all the latest and greatest medications. We have fantastic groomers here. We also will advise you on food and other things that can be very supportive. So, put all of that stuff together. You will have success. I know there’s a lot of people who are really frustrated because their dog’s probably had allergies their whole life and they’re really frustrated. They fell like there’s nothing that’s going to help. Come to Fox Creek. We will help you. We will help your pet.