Today's Veterinary Practice

JAN-FEB 2018

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PEER REVIEWED 48 CE: CANINE ATOPIC DERMATITIS Food-induced CAD The Task Force on Canine Atopic Dermatitis recognizes some controversy regarding the association between food and CAD—some dogs with CAD exhibit flares when exposed to food allergens. Such patients likely have recurrent, year-round clinical signs and sometimes have additional gastrointestinal signs (soft stools, vomiting, diarrhea, increased fecal frequency). All dogs with nonseasonal CAD should undergo 1 or more dietary restriction-provocation trials to determine whether food allergens contribute to clinical signs. 1,3 The current "gold standard" method for identifying food allergy in animals is to observe improvement of CAD clinical signs when the animal is fed a novel protein diet followed by recurrence of clinical signs when rechallenged with a previously fed food. 14,15 The novel protein is usually combined with a carbohydrate and is fed as a home-cooked or commercial diet ( BOX 4 ). 16-18 Commercial novel protein source diets typically include proteins from venison, rabbit, duck, kangaroo, ostrich, or emu and are combined with a carbohydrate source, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, oats, or barley. The novel diet is required for a minimum of 6 weeks, although some cases may continue to improve for up to 8 to 10 weeks. 1,3,19 Additional clinical signs, such as severe skin inflammation, pruritus, ear infections, and superficial pyodermas, influence the length of time required to feed the diet. Furthermore, most dogs with food allergies have additional hypersensitivities, such as FIGURE 5. (A, C) Skin lesions of superficial canine pyoderma on thorax of atopic dog and skin cytology revealing neutrophils and extracellular and intracellular cocci. (B, D; x100 magnification for C) Malassezia dermatitis affecting ventral abdomen of a dog with CAD and associated tape skin cytology revealing peanut-shaped yeast (x100 magnification for D). A C B D

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