February 27, 2009

Steroid Challenge as a Diagnostic Tool

Many vets use response to steroids as a predictor of response to Atopica or allergy vaccine. This can be useful in that dogs that respond very well to steroid therapy are likely infection free and atopic; however, patients that do not respond may have severe infections masking any benefit from the steroids. Alternatively dogs may respond well but still have food allergy which can be variably responsive to steroids in which case allergy vaccine would be useless.

I believe that a pattern approach is more accurate and useful.