The study of canine atopic dermatitis involving the isolation of dogs.
- M Fujimura
- Polish journal of veterinary sciences
Compliance with the treatment protocol and the most significant reasons encountered in general practice for the discontinuation of treatment in hyposensitized dogs are examined. The data are based on (1) a review of order forms for the hyposenzitization mixture and information sheets for an ELISA test and (2) telephone interviews with dog owners. Most of the owners (81%) gave their dogs allergen injections at home. Non-compliance was defined as discontinuation of treatment in the induction period; 33.9% of the owners became non-compliant. A large proportion of non-compliant owners (51.2%) claimed to be unaware of the length of the induction period. Furthermore, 70.2% of the owners were not aware that treatment would most likely need to be lifelong if it was to remain effective. Although 67.5% of the owners perceived that their dogs had beneficial effects from hyposensitization, only 36.3% of the dogs were receiving maintenance injections at the time of the telephone interview, considerably reducing the long-term benefit from treatment. Canine atopy is a chronic disease characterized by remission and relapses. Since no control group was available in this study, the beneficial outcome of treatment reported by the owners could be partly due to the natural course of the disease. Nevertheless, the results indicated that the long-term effect of hyposensitization in canine atopy will be reduced by premature discontinuation of treatment in the maintenance period. The discontinuation of treatment could be a reflection of the treatment becoming less effective, owing to the development of new hypersensitivities or to a reduction in the placebo effect that may occur in `new' treatments. However, poor client education and follow-up seem to be important reasons for both non-compliance and discontinuation of the treatment in the maintenance period.