|The objective of this retrospective study was to investigate in 100 dogs with otitis externa (OE) the possible associations between signalment, history, clinical and laboratory findings and the various primary, secondary and perpetuating causative factors of ear canal inflammation.
The age of the dogs ranged from 3 months to 14 years (median: 4.75 years) and they included 45 males and 55 females.
Cocker spaniels, Jura des Alpes and Brittany spaniels were significantly overrepresented among dogs with OE when compared to the hospital canine population.
In the majority of the cases, OE was chronicÂ–recurrent (63%) or bilateral (93%). Allergic dermatitis (43/100 dogs), grass awns (12/100) and otoacariasis (7/100) were the most common primary causative factors; no primary factor could be incriminated in 32 cases and more than one was found in three dogs. Malassezia spp. (66/100 dogs), cocci (38/100) and rods (22/100) were the secondary causative factors, while ear canal stenosis (38/100) and tympanic membrane perforation-otitis media (25/100) were the most important perpetuating factors.
Atopic dermatitis and adverse food reactions-associated OE was more common in females and dogs with a history of pruritic skin disease, while grass awn-induced OE occurred in cocker spaniels and acute cases.
Tympanic membrane perforation was less frequent in atopic dermatitis and adverse food reactions-associated OE, but more common when otoscopic and ear canal cytological examination revealed the presence of grass awns and rods, respectively. Finally, cocci overgrowth was positively associated with ear canal stenosis.
Source: Manolis N. Saridomichelakis, Rania Farmaki, Leonidas S. Leontides, Alexander F. Koutinas (2007): Aetiology of canine otitis externa: a retrospective study of 100 cases. In:
Veterinary Dermatology 18 (5), 341Â–347.