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Positive predictive value of IgE levels in dogs with food hypersensitivity
Food hypersensitivity is a diagnostic challenge. The serologic `allergy tests` based on allergen-specific IgE, adopted from human medicine, give disappointing results, and the diagnosis via hypoallergenic diet and dietary challenge is thought to be the `gold standard`. Is there a difference in IgE levels in allergic dogs fed with the known `allergens` before and after challenge?

Fourteen dogs with known clinical hypersensitivity to soy and corn were maintained on a limited antigen duck and rice diet until cutaneous manifestations of pruritus were minimal (78 days). Sequential oral challenges with cornstarch, corn and soy were then performed. Subsequently, the dogs were fed a diet containing hydrolysed soy protein and cornstarch. Throughout the study period the dogs were examined for cutaneous manifestations of pruritus and, additionally, serum was collected for measurement of allergen-specific and total immunoglobulin (Ig)E concentrations. Intradermal testing with food antigens was performed prior to entry into the study and after 83 days. A statistically significant clinical improvement was measured between days 0 and 83. Significant pruritus was induced after oral challenge with cornstarch, corn and soy (P = 0.04, 0.002, 0.01, respectively) but not with the hydrolysed diet (P = 0.5). The positive predictive value of the skin test for soy and corn allergy was reduced after feeding a soy and corn free diet. Although increases in soy and corn-specific serum IgE concentrations were measured in individual dogs post challenge they were not statistically significant and could not be used to predict clinical hypersensitivity.

Jackson,H.A.,Jackson,M.W.,Coblentz, L.,Hammerberg,B. (2003): Evaluation of the clinical and allergen specific serum immunoglobulin E responses to oral challenge with cornstarch, corn, soy and a soy hydrolysate diet in dogs with spontaneous food allergy
In: Veterinary Dermatology 14 (4), pp 181-187.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Patient-specific facemask to facilitate brain biopsymembers
The objective of this pilot study was to describe the application and first preliminary data of a novel MRI and CT compatible patient-specific facemask for stereotactic brain biopsy of intracranial lesions in dogs. Five client-owned dogs presenting for neurological deficits consistent with forebrain disease were included in the study. All dogs had MRI findings consistent with an intracranial lesion. But biopsies in this region are not easy to obtain. Does an individual face mask help?

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