Malassezia otitis:   “ Ears looking at you, kid”

     A number of patients who visit Animal Dermatology Clinic often have issues with their ears. Owners report that their pet will constantly shake his head or scratch at their ears. Many of these pets will have an odor or discharge emanating from the ears. These are often symptoms of otitis externa, an inflammation of the outer ear canal.
Many of the cases of otitis externa are complicated by yeast infections. Often these ear problems are a result of a primary disease such as allergies, keratinization defect, hormonal influences or parasitic problems and the bacterial and yeast organisms are not the true “primary” cause of the otitis. Malassezia pachydermatis is the most common yeast found in diseased ears and while a normal ear will have evidence of this yeast, a red and inflamed ear will have high numbers of yeast. (See photo, next column) To determine the amount of yeast present in the ear, the veterinarian will carefully swab the outer canal, transfer the exudate to a glass slide and view the sample with a microscope.

Picture left: Malassezia pachydermatis organisms taken from a dog’s ear. Viewed under the microscope, they are the purple shapes that look like peanuts or small footprints.

     The treatment of otitis externa consists of therapy for the existing infection and also for the underlying condition that allowed it to develop.
Long standing infections may require an ear “flush” to remove debris and is best performed under general anesthesia. During this procedure the doctor will use a video otoscope for a detailed look in the ear canal. This allows for a thorough assessment of the eardrum and canal, and to remove all the material that is present.
      A medical treatment for otitis usually requires the pet owner to be actively involved in the process. Thorough cleaning of the affected ears is important while being mindful of using a deft touch in this delicate area. If a medicated liquid solution is prescribed, the doctor will give instructions how to apply and massage the pet’s ears to get good application. Finally, oral medications may be prescribed.

ADC Doctor Completes Ironman Race

      Dr. Chris Reeder of our Louisville, KY clinic recently competed in an Ironman race held on August 26 in that city. More than 2,500 entrants were scheduled to compete.
      There are 23 Ironman Triathlon qualifying races held worldwide for the Ironman World Championships. This grueling competition requires a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon run of 26.2 miles raced in this order without a break.
      This grueling event has stopped many competitors and to complete the Ironman Triathlon is physical and mental victory in itself.
      Dr. Reeder is an avid fitness enthusiast and has been training for many months leading up to this event. He completed the swim in 1 hr 26 min, the bike race in 6 hr 11 min and the marathon 6 hr 3 min. His official total time was clocked at an impressive 14 hours, 7 minutes.

Groomers Invited to Derm Seminar San Diego, October 9

      Following on the success of the seminar that was recently offered to pet groomers in Orange County, CA, another meeting is now scheduled on October 9 for pet groomers in the San Diego area.
      Dr. Mona Boord will be the speaker at this informational lecture offering tips, techniques and discussion of shampoos available for groomers when dealing with a pet that has a skin condition. A question and answer session will follow.
      All pet groomers are welcome to attend this free event, there is no cost to attendees. Food and drinks will be available prior to the lecture.
      If you know of a groomer who might be interested in attending, please pass this information on to them, or ask them to use the Contact Form on the Animal Dermatology Clinic website

      Additional groomer seminars are anticipated for Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY and Marietta, GA.

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As specialists, we stay current on new research and treatments and are actively involved with the research. Our dermatology practice is not limited to small animals and we often have equine and occasionally exotic patients. Learn More >