Current Dermatology Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 297–302 | Cite as

Allergen Specific Immunotherapy in Canine Atopic Dermatitis: an Update

  • Nina M. FischerEmail author
  • Ralf S. Müller
Veterinary Dermatology (A Rostaher and N Fischer)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Veterinary Dermatology


Purpose of Review

This review aims to evaluate new insights into allergen immunotherapy (AIT) and review the mechanism, different protocols used, and response rate of this treatment option for canine atopic dermatitis.

Recent Findings

AIT is the only etiological treatment available for canine atopic dermatitis. Selection of allergens is based on clinical history in conjunction with positive reactions on intradermal and serum testing. During decades AIT was applied subcutaneously (SCIT) using aqueous or aluminum-precipitated solution of allergens, but in the last few years, new routes like sublingual (SLIT), intralymphatic (ILIT), and epicutaneous administration are on the rise. AIT combines a satisfactory success rate (around 70%) with a good safety profile. Adverse effects include mainly increased pruritus and anaphylactic reactions are rarely seen in animals. Pilot studies with different adjuvants to further increase safety and efficacy have been published.


AIT is a safe and effective therapy for canine atopic dermatitis. However, as most of the published studies are case series with often rather small numbers of animals included, more and larger randomized studies of immunotherapy are needed in a clinical setting to provide guidance on the optimal selection of allergens, adjuvants, dosing, success rate, and adverse effects of the various protocols of immunotherapy in dogs.


Allergen specific Desensitization Hyposensitization Feline Canine Intralymphatic 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Nina Fischer received a grant for an immunotherapy study from Albertheim Stiftung und Waltham.

Dr. Ralf Müller received financial support for studies about immunotherapy from Greer Laboratories, Artu Biologicals, and Heska Laboratories.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dermatology Unit, Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Zentrum für klinische TiermedizinLMU MunichMunichGermany

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