Canine Infections and Infestations

Rule out testing in the work-up of a pruritic dog.

Bacterial and Yeast Infections

Most cases of relapsing pyoderma or Malassezia dermatitis are secondary to an underlying condition/disease1,2,3.

SKIN AND EAR CYTOLOGY 

Cytology is useful in the diagnosis of bacterial pyoderma/otitis or bacterial overgrowth, Malassezia dermatitis/otitis, eosinophilic granuloma complex and pemphigus foliaceus.

Interpreted and reported by a certified dermatologist with images from actual slides submitted included in the report where possible

CULTURE AND SENSITIVITY

Includes MRSA/MRSP

STAPHYLOCOCCUS IgE/IgG

In addition to overgrowth of the bacteria, a hypersensitivity response can occur to Staphylococcus, as it does against allergens. In these cases, you often see a clinical response disproportionate to the number of organisms present on the animal’s skin.

Example results


Next steps
THERAPY FOR IDIOPATHIC RECURRENT PYODERMA

For further information about therapy for idiopathic recurrent pyoderma, due to hypersensitivity or otherwise, please contact Customer Services.

MALASSEZIA IgE/IgG

In addition to overgrowth of the Malassezia, a hypersensitivity response can occur to the organism, as it does against allergens. In these cases, you often see a clinical response disproportionate to the number of organisms present on the animal’s skin.

Example results

Next steps
ALLERGEN-SPECIFIC IMMUNOTHERAPY (ASIT) AND TOPICAL TREATMENTS
When positive IgE scores are present, ASIT can be considered to desensitise the dog to Malassezia and reduce the associated allergic response8. Long-term topical treatment is also indicated. Regular monitoring of Malassezia levels using cytology is beneficial in cases with recurrent infections.

Ectoparasites and Fungal Infection

SARCOPTES SEROLOGY
Sensitivity 92.1%, specificity 94.6%

Recommended for initially detecting exposure to Sarcoptes scabiei.

Example results

SARCOPTES PCR
Sensitivity 95%, specificity 100%

Recommended follow up to positive serology results for monitoring response to treatment.

Example results

ECTOPARASITE SKIN SCRAPES
Useful to detect Demodex, Cheyletiella, Trombiculae (harvest mites), lice, flea dirt and Sarcoptes (Sarcoptes mites are difficult to detect on skin scrapes so we recommend Sarcoptes IgG serology in addition).

Interpreted and reported by a certified dermatologist with images from actual slides submitted included in the report where possible.

DERMATOPHYTE (FUNGAL) TESTS

DERMATOPHYTE PCR
Sensitivity 87%, specificity 100%

Recommended for initial detection of dermatophytes.

Example results

DERMATOPHYTE SEQUENCING

DNA sequencing from submitted sample to provide speciation of fungi detected.

DERMATOPHYTE CULTURE

Recommended follow up to positive PCR results for monitoring response to treatment.

FLEA ALLERGY DERMATITIS (FAD)
If the pruritus persists after treatment of obvious infestations/infections, or no obvious cause was identified on initial investigation, the distribution of pruritus and/or lesions can be helpful for further investigations. Presence of recurrent dorsolumbar dermatitis, usually seasonal, is highly suggestive and a unique feature of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)9.

Visualisation of fleas or flea faeces can be difficult in very pruritic, overgrooming animals. Pruritus and lesions usually resolve with diligent flea control.

Intradermal or serology testing is available, but false negative results are possible and do not rule out FAD9.

1. Bensignor, E., Germain, P.A., Daix, B., Florant, E., Gerbier, C., Groux, D., Hennequin, G. Laumonnier, M., Mege, C., Meyrial, J., Migraine, P. & Medaille, C. (2005). Aetiologic study of recurrent pyoderma in dogs. Revue de Médecine Vétérinaire, 156(4): 183-189
2. Bond, R., Ferguson, E.A., Curtis, C.F., Craig, J.M. & Lloyd, D.H. (1996). Factors associated with elevated cutaneous Malassezia pachydermatis populations in dogs with pruritic skin disease. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 37: 103-107
3. Akerstedt, J. & Vollset, I. (1996). Malassezia pachydermatis with special reference to canine skin disease. British Veterinary Journal, 152: 269-281
4. Morales, C.A., Schultz, K.T. & DeBoer, D.J. (1994). Antistaphylococcal antibodies in dogs with recurrent staphylococcal pyoderma. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 42: 137-147
5. Chen, T., Halliwell, R.E.W., Pemberton, A.D. & Hill, P.B. (2002). Identification of major allergens of Malassezia pachydermatis in dogs with atopic dermatitis and Malassezia overgrowth. Veterinary Dermatology, 13: 141–150
6. Nuttall, T.J. & Halliwell, R.E.W. (2001). Serum antibodies to Malassezia yeasts in canine atopic dermatitis. Veterinary Dermatology, 12: 327–332
7. Morris, D.O. & DeBoer, D.J. (2003). Evaluation of serum obtained from atopic dogs with dermatitis attributable to Malassezia pachydermatis for passive transfer of immediate hypersensitivity to that organism. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 64(3): 262-266
8.Åberg, L., Varjonen, K. & Åhman, S. (2017). Results of allergen-specific immunotherapy in atopic dogs with Malassezia hypersensitivity: a retrospective study of 16 cases. Veterinary Dermatology [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1111/vde.12475.
9. Hnilica, K. A. (2011) Small Animal Dermatology, 3rd ed. Elsevier
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