Canine otitis externa accounts for 10‐13% of veterinary hospital visits, according to an article in Today’s Veterinary Practice. One common characteristic among breeds that have a tendency toward this condition is pendulous pinnae, or floppy ears. It is especially common in breeds such as Spaniels and Retrievers but also seen in Terriers and Poodles. Breeds that have stenosis of the external ear canal or hirsutism can also be affected. The ears restrict proper air flow into the ear canal, which sets up a moist environment that is conducive for bacterial and fungal growth. Excessive swimming without proper drying of the ears can also set up this type of environment in the ear.
This is seen in breeds such as Retrievers that are used in waterfowl hunting. Additionally, overzealous cleaning of the ears by owners trying to prevent otitis can actually predispose the canine to the condition. Atopy (atopic dermatitis, eczema, immune mediated skin hypersensitivity, and allergic dermatitis) triggered by allergens can also cause otitis externa. Otitis externa/media is not limited to any specific age and is not genetically determined. Otitis externa is often a secondary symptom of an underlying disease.
Commercially available treatment:
Osurnia® is a relatively new gel product that is a commercially available poloxamer based gel. It is indicated for the treatment of otitis externa associated with susceptible strains of Malassezia and Staphylococcus pseudointermedius. However, canine ears are most commonly infected with Proteus spp. or Pseudomonas spp. According to the veterinary drug monograph for florfenicol, these organisms are not listed as covered organism.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa accounts for 30-35% of canine Otitis Externa. There are several compounded formulations in poloxomer based gel that can be custom made at San Jose Compounding Pharmacy e.g carbapenems like imipenem, meropenem have excellent activity against Pseudomonas spp and can be combined with antifungals like ketoconazole and corticosteroid like triamcinolone. Call our Veterinary Compounding Specialist today to learn more!