New treatment targets itchy eczema in dogs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New treatment targets itchy eczema in dogs

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Barbara Leebaw says if her two golden retrievers could speak, they'd tell you they used to be in agony, constantly itching.

"They have a different kind of allergies, but they were both miserable," Leebaw said.

Their allergies triggered atopic dermatitis, which is like eczema in people. It left the dogs scratching and biting at their skin. Cleveland, 8, had it worse.

"He started developing terrible hot spots," Leebaw said. "We tried doing everything, but nothing was helping."

But now, a new USDA-approved treatment is providing Cleveland and his sister, C.C., some relief. Dr. Ian Spiegel, a veterinary dermatologist, says the first-of-its-kind injection for dogs, called Cytopoint, targets a protein to stop the itch.

"It's blocking this pathway or transmission to the brain that basically tells the dog to lick, bite, chew, scratch. So you're basically turning that off," Spiegel said.

The injection is administered every four to eight weeks. Spiegel says unlike steroids and other medications, there are virtually no major side effects for dogs and it can be combined with other treatments.

"It's really worked for us, and it's really worked for them!" Leebaw said. "And their lives are so much better."

And C.C. and Cleveland seem to agree.

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