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Otitis externa. A disease of multifactorial etiology.

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Texas Veterinary Medical Center, Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station.


Dogs and cats with long-standing otitis externa pose a difficult diagnostic challenge for the veterinarian, because chronically affected ears usually have the same appearance regardless of the underlying cause(s). In patients with chronic otitis externa, the disease is often caused by different combinations of primary, predisposing, and perpetuating factors. The unique therapeutic needs of each patient may be determined by careful interpretation of historical and physical findings, which should be supported by ancillary diagnostic tests.

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