Otitis externa is one of the most common medical conditions reported during veterinary visits, and it is a top condition among dogs enrolled in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The underlying cause for otitis externa in many dogs is allergic dermatitis, but other possible causes include foreign bodies, tumors, ear conformation and parasites. Generally, topical antimicrobials effectively treat acute infections, and anti-inflammatory medications are helpful adjunct therapies. If the infection is chronic or extends from the outer ear into the middle ear, oral antimicrobials can be used. Within the context of the growing problem of antimicrobial-resistant infections, more information is needed on antimicrobial prescribing practices for otitis externa in dogs. Using data from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, researchers will study environmental, dietary and treatment-related factors in dogs with acute or chronic otitis externa, as well as the presence of concurrent allergic dermatitis. The team also will look at veterinary antimicrobial prescribing patterns for otitis externa using veterinary visit data, with particular attention to prescription of oral antimicrobials. This new information could inform interventions to improve treatment for otitis externa in dogs, including antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
Grant amount awarded
North Carolina State University
Rebecca Bloch, DVM, MPH and Sarah Rhea, DVM, MPH, PhD