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Compendium May 2009 (Vol 31, No 5)

Letters — Pruritus in a Great Dane

    I would like to apologize to readers for an unintentional error in the March 2009 Clinical Snapshot, "Pruritus in a Great Dane," in which I stated that "the manufacturer reported [selamectin] to be effective in 70% of cases" when discussing treatment for canine scabies. This statement was an incorrect extrapolation of information on studies conducted by the manufacturer. I would like to correct this statement and comment on my current use of selamectin.

    Selamectin has been found to be highly effective against Sarcoptes mite infestations in dogs. Large field studies with naturally occurring Sarcoptes infestations in dogs have reported posttreatment efficacy of 93% to 95% after one dose and 100% after two doses. It is important to remember that part of the pathogenesis of the pruritus of scabies is hypersensitivity to mites, dead or alive. Dogs can be mite free but still pruritic until mite proteins have been shed from the stratum corneum and coat, which is one reason that medicated bathing is often very beneficial for these patients.

    Because selamectin has a wide spectrum of activity, I routinely recommend year-round use of selamectin in hunting dogs and in dogs that frequent dog parks, "play groups" or "day care," or agility and training classes.

    Karen A. Moriello, DVM, DACVD
    Clinical Professor of Dermatology
    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Downloadable PDF

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