December 2016
Peer Reviewed | Web-Exclusive

Quiz: Otitis Management in Dogs

According to case files of more than 550,000 pets insured by a major pet insurance carrier, ear infection was the second most common claim filed in 2015.1 Otitis externa can be discovered during an examination of an animal presented for routine care or may be discovered when presented for a nondermatologic problem.2 Common presenting signs include head shaking, otic discharge, otic pruritus, odor from the ear, rubbing of affected ears, and crying out when an affected ear is touched. Of note, as based on clinical observation, otitis externa typically is present, but affected dogs may not exhibit clinical signs or their owners may fail to appreciate the early clinical signs of otitis.Performing an otoscopic examination on all nonemergent patients is, therefore, advisable, especially in patients with a history of otitis externa or allergic skin disease, as 80% or more of dogs with food or environmentally triggered atopic dermatitis (AD) have otitis externa.3,4 If the patient’s ears are painful, sedation may be necessary prior to otoscopic examination.

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