October 29, 2018

Otitis External in Spaniels

The group conducted a study of records on dogs from 55 small veterinary clinics around Finland in 2010 an attempt to see if American Cocker Spaniels were overrepresented in dogs that needed surgery for Otitis Externa, a skin infection on the ear that can lead to pain so severe the dog must be euthanized. They developed an owners questionnaire that was given out from 2009 to 2010 by Vets, Breeders, and the American Cocker Spaniel Club. The survey was on skin and ear conditions in dogs and was taken by owners of dogs with and without the conditions. The breeds were divided into spaniel breeds and other breeds, and pendulous ears and dogs with erect ears. The study yielded information on almost 100,000 dogs of 220 different breeds. American cocker spaniels were 3rd highest on the list for frequency of ear-related consultations, and the mean number of otitis external episodes in cocker spaniels was 2.6, almost 1.5 times as much as any other dog, which may mean that OE recurs most often in this breed. The prevalence in general of OE in dogs studied was 27% for American Cocker Spaniels, and the high results for this breed are partially due to the predisposition due to having long, pendulous ears, which means there is a higher density of follicles and glands in the pinnae (external part of the ear).
The study learned that the highest risk for end-stage OE is from early onset OE (Before 1 year of age), thus deducing that treatment in young cocker spaniels should be as intensive as possible from the first treatment. The study noted that a more detailed study should be done to determine the exact cause of OE, although it may be due to allergies, as cocker spaniels are predisposed to atopic dermatitis (eczema). 

In conclusion, the study reported that the prevalence of OE in cocker spaniels was higher than previously reported. 
Original article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330127/
Reviewed by Aidan Ryan, 10/29/2018