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J Small Anim Pract. 2011 May;52(5):254-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01058.x.

The association between the signalment, common causes of canine otitis externa and pathogens.

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Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.



To determine whether associations exist between pathogens, allergies, conformational abnormalities, endocrinopathies and signalment in canine otitis externa (OE).


Medical records of 149 dogs which met predetermined inclusion criteria were evaluated retrospectively. Correlations between pathogens and the presence of allergy, endocrinopathy, conformational abnormalities and signalment were evaluated statistically.


The shar-pei, German shepherd and cocker spaniel breeds were over-represented compared with the hospital's breed distribution (P<0·001). German shepherd dogs and cocker spaniels were statistically more prone to infection with rod-shaped organisms and Labrador retrievers less than other breeds (P=0·034). Almost all dogs that were older than five years when diagnosed with OE had cocci (P=0·01) and also had higher levels of rods (P=0·028). The incidence of rods was higher in endocrinopathies (P=0·004), while that of Malassezia spp. tended to be higher in allergies (P=0·098). There were no statistically significant differences among the groups for all the other parameters examined.


OE infection is usually not influenced by primary causes or predisposing factors. Endocrinopathies may be followed by a more severe otitis, however. OE may be more severe when it affects older dogs.

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