The itchy, scratchy pet is one of the most challenging problems that veterinarians encounter. But a new curriculum in allergy science, introduced this summer at the World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology in France, could make it easier to solve the pet allergy puzzle – and provide relief to millions of suffering animals.
The hands-on course, which gives veterinarians the tools to properly identify and test for specific allergens, is delivered through a partnership between ALK, the global leader in allergy testing, and Animal Dermatology Clinic, an acclaimed international practice with 34 locations in the United States and Dr. Brett Wildermuth, Tierdermatologie Wiesbaden Germany.
“This educational opportunity is unprecedented because of the level of microscopic detail about environmental pollens that bother pets every day,” says Brett Wildermuth, DVM, DACVD. “Major advances have been made in animal allergy testing over the past several years, and this practical curriculum helps veterinarians increase their skill and confidence with allergenic plants and molds.”
Thirty veterinary dermatologists from various countries participated in the course that was launched at the World Congress of Veterinary Dermatology in Bordeaux, France on June 2-4. Several microscope stations presented slides of each allergen, accompanied by the 170-page ALK pollen textbook, “Allergenic Plants and Molds,” which details the role of different grasses, trees, weeds and molds in pet allergies and sensitivities.
Each pollen’s season, identification and allergenicity were reviewed at the conference. The hands-on activities were complemented by presentations on immunotherapy and other therapeutic advances from Dr. Wildermuth, Animal Dermatology Clinic and the ALK scientific team.
“Educational materials with this level of detail were not available to veterinarians in the past. It was an honor to share our expertise in plant and mold characterization with vet dermatologists and we look forward to supporting the ongoing, allergy-related scientific needs of veterinarians,” said Jorge Alderete, President, ALK Americas.
Leaders from Animal Dermatology Clinic visited ALK’s extensive source material facilities in northern Idaho. “We are confident in ALK’s capabilities to provide the most comprehensive allergy solutions for veterinary medicine, and we’re excited to share advancements in the field with our industry,” said Craig Griffin, DVM, DACVD, Animal Dermatology Clinic.
ALK and Animal Dermatology Clinic plan to offer their premier allergy science course to veterinary schools, industry groups and conferences in the near future.