Transforming Treatment of
Scientific Insights Into the Cause of Canine Itch Leads to Transformational Targeted Therapies
Itching is the reason for one out of every six visits pet owners make their veterinarians. In severe cases, itching can become life-disrupting for dogs and their families. Veterinarians have long asked for solutions that stop itching fast, allow skin healing to begin, and come without the side effects such as excessive hunger and weight gain and longer term risk of liver and kidney disease associated with conventional treatments.
Seeking better solutions for allergic skin conditions in dogs, Zoetis scientists gained a new understanding of the role that cytokines (proteins involved in cell to cell communication) and, in particular, interleukin–31 (IL-31), have in triggering the immune response that sends the itch signal to the brain in dogs.
We also understood that the needs of allergic dogs and their owners varied greatly. Veterinarians could best serve them by having choices of targeted therapies, making it possible to customize treatment for their allergic patients. With these imperatives in mind, our scientists developed two novel therapies to inhibit the activity of cytokines involved in allergic itch and skin inflammation such as IL-31.