Being a veterinary clinician can be one of the most exciting and satisfying jobs. These two words come after two others: hard and challenging. If we add the word: allergy, then things can get more complicated. Throughout history, itch has been a major concern for owners and clinicians. Ruling out the different aetiologies, searching for an accurate diagnosis followed by an adequate protocol therapy is the main goal of every medical discipline. Many advances have been made in allergic diseases in dogs and cats in the past two decades. Still, as a chronic and relapsing disease, allergic dermatitis can be frustrating and disappointing for practitioners and owners. In the era of global communication and social media, people have become more demanding for results and sometimes suspicious to the ordinary medical approach. On the other hand, alternative diagnostic tools and new therapy methods are getting more and more popular.
As scientists, it’s our duty to have a critical approach to every diagnostic tool we use in order to offer an accurate diagnostics. Nevertheless, in dermatology practice, some tools are often overused and misinterpreted: two common and generalized examples are the use of IgE serology for Atopic dermatitis or Western Blot method for AFR diagnosis, respectively. The lack of appropriate diagnosis and fear of medical treatment’s side effects create a wide range of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The promise of ‘natural approach’ or ‘no side effects therapy’ makes them so attractive to society more reactionary to the ‘industry’. Even in the case of usefulness, very little is published on veterinary literature and very few RCT (Randomize Control Trials) studies have been done. If the world trend is to normalize these methods, then we must find some kind of balance between the right application of evidence-based dermatology and a serious scientific approach to CAM.
ELOY CASTILLA CASTAÑO
Dermatology Practitioner SwissVetGroup