Applicability of new dermatology products is more than skin deep


From outside to inside, Drs. Darin Dell and Melissa Hall share what they're most excited about in veterinary dermatology now and in the not-so-distant future.

"It's important to remember with your dermatologic cases that you can treat the skin from the outside as well as the inside," says Melissa Hall, DVM, DACVD, with Animal Dermatology Clinic in Tustin, California. And she's right. 

"We've had a lot of new things come out in veterianary dermatology recently," says Darin Dell, DVM, DACVD, with Animal Dermatology Clinic in Indianapolis, Indiana. And he's right, too. 

Today, there are many new and upcoming dermatologic products that are changing the derm game as we know it. So we sat down and asked these two veterinarians which ones they're the most excited about. Here's what they said. 

New flea preventions: Beyond flea and tick effects 

Researchers are making advances and breaking boundaries in the dermatologic world with products like afoxolaner (NexGard-Merial), fluralaner (Bravecto-Merck) and sarolaner (Simparica-Zoetis) in order to better the welfare of patients with dermatologic conditions. How do these flea and tick preventives help dermatologically? 

"These products have really made it very easy to not only treat fleas and ticks, but there's some real promise with using these for other disease processes, including generalized demodicosis," says Hall. 

Polymerase chain reaction testing: Nailing down more double helixes

Tired of a nebulous diagnosis of granulomatous disease after histopathologic examination of a skin sample? How about trying to find just the right strain to possibly identify an infective organism? Or crossing your fingers that infective organisms will grow on culture medium even if they are present? Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is coming to the rescue. 

"We're seeing a lot more PCR testing developed for infectious disease-diseases that we've had trouble culturing or trouble finding on histopathology. PCR tests are being developed and soon will be available so that we can find those much easier," says Dell. 

Dell says several articles have shown success in using PCR tests to identify mycobacteria and Leishmania species in tissue samples.1,2 And he says a PCR test is already available for dermatophytosis. "PCR provides a quicker answer than a DTM [dermatophyte test medium] culture and eliminates the difficulties that come along with culturing," he says. 

Monoclonal antibody therapy: A new way to fight the itch

Molecules engineered to mimic natural antibody proteins in the immune system, otherwise known as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), have expanded from the human side of medicine and into other medical fields. 

"We're seeing this first from the human side of medicine, using more of a targeted approach, and this is also now trickling down into our veterinary side," says Hall. "I'm excited about this approach of using more targeted therapy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis using the canine atopic immunotherapeutic injection, or CADI, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy to canine IL-31. It's a new, interesting way to get better control of our cases with fewer systemic side effects." 

"In the limited release stages, this product looks really, really good and I'm excited to see what it'll do for us when it's wider-released," says Dell. 

Topical therapies: Quite topical 

"There is an abundance of really good topical therapies," Hall says, "so really make sure that you're sending your clients home with the appropriate shampoos for the disease process that the patient is afflicted with." 

New products like medical-grade silver powders (e.g. MicroSilver BG-BioGate) can improve dermatologic animal care. From insect bites to treating postsurgical wounds, these powders are on the forefront of reducing harmful bacteria while supporting the natural healing process of the skin. 

"We've all seen a lot more resistant infections recently, and it's going to continue to be a bigger problem," Dell says. "Using MicroSilver has shown that it can be much more effective with topical therapy and that we'll need less oral antibiotics." 


1. Cornegliani L, Fondavila D, Vercelli A, et al. PCR technique detection of Leishmania spp. but not Mycobacterium spp. in canine cutaneous 'sterile' pyogranuloma/granuloma syndrome. Vet Dermatol 2005;16(4):233-238. 

2. Cornegliani L, Corona A, Verelli A, et al. Identification by real-time PCR with SYBR Green of Leishmania spp. and Serratia marcescens in canine 'sterile' cutaneous nodular lesions. Vet Dermatol 2015;26(3):186-192. 

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